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The Winner's Curse of Human Capital

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  • Thomas Astebro
  • Irwin Bernhardt

Abstract

We extend a model developed by Evans) to explain when start-ups are credit constrained. We show that the magnitude of the credit constraint is conditioned by the relative productivity of human capital in both wage work and self employment. Empirical analysis reveals that entrepreneurs with greater levels of human capital and entrepreneurial abilities have both greater financial wealth and greater levels of start-up capital pointing to the endogenous nature of credit constraints. Start-ups are generally financially constrained when measured by the impact on start-up capital of predicted household income. Greater levels of human capital relaxes financial constraints, apparently due to greater productivity of human capital in wage work than in self-employment. Paradoxically, then, those who are the least likely to be credit constrained in self-employment are those that are least likely to switch into self-employment, and vice versa.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Astebro & Irwin Bernhardt, 1999. "The Winner's Curse of Human Capital," Working Papers 99-5, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:99-5
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/1999/CES-WP-99-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Irwin Bernhardt, 1994. "Comparative Advantage in Self-Employment and Paid Work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 273-289, May.
    2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    3. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1990. "What Makes A Young Entrepreneur?," Papers 373, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-1270, September.
    6. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    7. Dwight M. Jaffee & Thomas Russell, 1976. "Imperfect Information, Uncertainty, and Credit Rationing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 651-666.
    8. Timothy Bates & Caren Grown, 1991. "Commercial Bank Lending Practices And The Development Of Black-Owned Construction Companies," Working Papers 91-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Wolken, John D., 1998. ""New" data sources for research on small business finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 1067-1076, August.
    10. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-559, November.
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    Keywords

    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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