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Tax Policy and Entrepreneurship in the Presence of Asymmetric Information in Capital Markets


  • Clemens Fuest
  • Bernd Huber
  • Philipp Tillessen


This paper considers the implications of asymmetric information in capital markets for entrepreneurial entry and tax policy. In many countries, governments subsidize the creation of new firms. One possible justification for these subsidies is that capital markets for the financing of new firms do not function properly. We analyse this issue by assuming that entrepreneurs need outside financing for their projects and know more about the quality of their projects than outside investors. Entrepreneurs have the choice between carrying out their entrepreneurial projects or working as an employee. It turns out that asymmetric information in capital markets leads to too much rather than too little entrepreneurial entry. Therefore, the ptimal tax policy should discourage rather than subsidize entrepreneurial entry. We also nalyse the welfare effects of project screening and show that there is too much screening. Our policy conclusion is that subsidies for the foundation of firms must be based on reasons other than informational asymmetries in capital markets.

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  • Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Philipp Tillessen, 2003. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurship in the Presence of Asymmetric Information in Capital Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 872, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_872

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stewart C. Myers & Nicholas S. Majluf, 1984. "Corporate Financing and Investment Decisions When Firms Have InformationThat Investors Do Not Have," NBER Working Papers 1396, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
    3. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2003. "Tax policy, venture capital, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 175-203, January.
    4. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2004. "Start-ups, venture capitalists, and the capital gains tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 1011-1042, April.
    5. De Meza, David & Webb, David C., 1988. "Credit market efficiency and tax policy in the presence of screening costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 1-22, June.
    6. Boadway, Robin & Sato, Motohiro, 1999. " Information Acquisition and Government Intervention in Credit Markets," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(3), pages 283-308.
    7. Georg Gebhardt & Klaus M. Schmidt, 2002. "Der Markt für Venture Capital: Anreizprobleme, Governance Strukturen und staatliche Interventionen," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(3), pages 235-255, August.
    8. Christian Keuschnigg & Soren Nielsen, 2001. "Public Policy for Venture Capital," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(4), pages 557-572, August.
    9. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1999. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," NBER Working Papers 6906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Baldwin, John R. & Bian, Lin & Dupuy, Richard & Gellatly, Guy, 2000. "Failure Rates for New Canadian Firms: New Perspectives on Entry and Exit," Failure Rates for New Canadian Firms: New Perspectives on Entry and Exit, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division, number stcb5e, February.
    11. David de Meza & David C. Webb, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-292.
    12. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    13. Gale, William G., 1990. "Federal lending and the market for credit," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 177-193, July.
    14. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Søren Bo Nielsen, "undated". "Why Is the Corporate Tax Rate Lower than the Personal Tax Rate?," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-17, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    15. de Meza, David & Webb, David, 2000. "Does credit rationing imply insufficient lending?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 215-234, November.
    16. Roger H. Gordon, 1998. "Can High Personal Tax Rates Encourage Entrepreneurial Activity?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 49-80, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jörn Hendrich Block & Thorsten Staak & Philipp Tilleßen, 2007. "Ist das staatliche Eingreifen ins Gründungsgeschehen theoretisch legitimiert?," FEMM Working Papers 07007, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
    2. Luis H. B. Braido & Carlos E. da Costa & Bev Dahlby, 2011. "Adverse Selection and Risk Aversion in Capital Markets," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 67(4), pages 303-326, December.
    3. Robin Boadway & Jean-François Tremblay, 2003. "Public Economics and Startup Entrepreneurs," CESifo Working Paper Series 877, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 2004. "Financing New Investments under Asymmetric Information: A General Approach," Working Papers 1017, Queen's University, Department of Economics.

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