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The 'Lack of Separation' Revisited: Small Business Owners and Risk

Author

Listed:
  • Susan Coleman

    (University of Hartford)

  • Richard Cohn

    (University of Hartford)

Abstract

The close link between the personal financial affairs of a small business owner and his or her firm has been noted in prior research. This article compares attitudes toward risk on the part of small business owners (SBOs) and non-small business owners (NSBOs). In addition, it compares the personal balance sheets of SBOs to those of NSBOs to determine if SBOs hold a higher level of risky assets. Results reveal that small business owners express a greater willingness to accept risk and hold a higher level of risky assets in their personal portfolios. This finding is consistent with small business owners' willingness to own and operate small firms which are, by their very nature, risky.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan Coleman & Richard Cohn, 2001. "The 'Lack of Separation' Revisited: Small Business Owners and Risk," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 6(1), pages 104-114, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:6:y:2001:i:1:p:104-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alfred R Nucci & Timothy Bates, 1990. "An Analysis of Small Business Size and Rate of Discontinuance," Working Papers 90-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Cohn, Richard A, et al, 1975. "Individual Investor Risk Aversion and Investment Portfolio Composition," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 605-620, May.
    3. Don Bellante & Richard P. Saba, 1986. "Human Capital And Life-Cycle Effects On Risk Aversion," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 9(1), pages 41-51, March.
    4. James S. Ang, 1992. "On the Theory of Finance for Privately Held Firms," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 1(3), pages 185-203, Spring.
    5. Morin, Roger A & Fernandez Suarez, Antonio, 1983. " Risk Aversion Revisited," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1201-1216, September.
    6. James S. Ang, 1991. "Small Business Uniqueness and the Theory of Financial Management," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 1(1), pages 1-13, Spring.
    7. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bernasek, Alexandra, 1998. "Are Women More Risk Averse?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 620-630, October.
    8. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    9. James S. Ang & James Wuh Lin & Floyd Tyler, 1995. "Evidence on the Lack of Separation between Business and Personal Risks among Small Businesses," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 4(2), pages 197-210, Fall.
    10. Robert B. Barsky & F. Thomas Juster & Miles S. Kimball & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-579.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm Performance; Financing Policy; Financial Risk; Risk Management; Capital Structure; Ownership Structure; New Firms; Startups;

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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