Personal Bankruptcy and the Level of Entrepreneurial Activity
The U.S. personal bankruptcy system functions as a bankruptcy system for small businesses as well as consumers, because debts of noncorporate firms are personal liabilities of the firms' owners. If the firm fails, the owner has an incentive to file for bankruptcy, since both business debts and the owner's personal debts will be discharged. In bankruptcy, the owner must give up assets above a fixed exemption level. Because exemption levels are set by the states, they vary widely. We show that higher bankruptcy exemption levels benefit potential entrepreneurs who are risk averse by providing partial wealth insurance and therefore that the probability of owning a business increases as the exemption level increases. We test this prediction and find that the probability of households owning businesses is 35 percent higher if they live in states with unlimited rather than low exemptions.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
- Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
- Wang, Hung-Jen & White, Michelle J, 2000.
"An Optimal Personal Bankruptcy Procedure and Proposed Reforms,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 255-286, January.
- Wang, H.J. & White, M., 1998. "An Optimal Personal Bankruptcy Procedure and Proposed Reform," Papers 98-07, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
- Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt49c4n0fg, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
- Longhofer, Stanley D., 1997. "Absolute Priority Rule Violations, Credit Rationing, and Efficiency," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 249-267, July.
- Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-748, August.
- Schuetze, Herb J., 2000. "Taxes, economic conditions and recent trends in male self-employment: a Canada-US comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 507-544, September.
- Herb J. Schuetze, "undated". "Taxes, Economic Conditions And Recent Trends in Male Self-Employment: A Canada-U.S. Comparison," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 11, McMaster University.
- White, M.J., 1998. "Why It Pays to File for Bankruptcy: A Critical Look at Incentives Under U.S. Bankruptcy Laws and A Proposal for Change," Papers 98-02, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
- Stanley D. Longhofer, 1997. "Absolute priority rule violations, credit rationing, and efficiency," Working Paper 9710, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:y:2003:v:46:i:2:p:543-67. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.