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Entrepreneurial Innovation

  • Rigotti, Luca
  • Ryan, Matthew
  • Vaithianathan, Rema

This paper presents an equilibrium model in which the process of firm formation and technology adoption is endogenous. Individuals decide whether to work in an existing firm for a posted wage, or to establish a new firm. Entrepreneurs hire a single worker and choose a production technology from a fixed set. The stochastic properties of different technologies are known with different, and exogenously specified, degrees of precision. We use Dempster's (967) lower probabilities to characterize these differences in objective precision of risk information. Individuals in the model are heterogeneous with respect to their tolerance of imprecise risk. This heterogeneity determines which technologies are adopted in equilibrium, the number of firms adopting each active technology, firm structure (risk attitudes of owner and worker), and the wage differentials across firms adopting different technologies. We can also parametrically alter the risk precision associated with a given technology to examine the effect on equilibrium. This comparative static exercise suggests an explanation for the commonly observed S-shaped diffusion profile for successful innovations.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt508109h4.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdl:econwp:qt508109h4
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  1. Schumpeter, Joseph A., 1947. "The Creative Response in Economic History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 149-159, November.
  2. 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 808-27, August.
  3. Dreze, J.H., 1984. "(Uncertainty and) the firm in general equilibrium theory," CORE Discussion Papers 1984026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1983. "Implicit Labor Contracts and Free Entry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 55-105, Supplemen.
  5. David Schmeidler, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7662, David K. Levine.
  6. Chateauneuf, Alain & Jaffray, Jean-Yves, 1989. "Some characterizations of lower probabilities and other monotone capacities through the use of Mobius inversion," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 263-283, June.
  7. 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 719-48, August.
  8. Israel M. Kirzner, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Discovery and the Competitive Market Process: An Austrian Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 60-85, March.
  9. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1990. "A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Its Application to the Study of Business Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 265-94, April.
  10. Kelsey, D. & Spanjeres, W., 1997. "Uncertainty in Partnerships," Discussion Papers 97-16, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  11. Nikolaos Vettas, 1998. "Demand and Supply in New Markets: Diffusion with Bilateral Learning," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 215-233, Spring.
  12. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 1995. "A general equilibrium theory of firm formation based on individual unobservable skills," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1303-1319, August.
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