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Self-Employment, Wealth and Start-up Costs: Evidence from a Financial Crisis

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  • Koffi Elitcha
  • Raquel Fonseca

Abstract

Financial constraints affect in important ways the decision of individuals to become entrepreneur (self-employed). This implicitly suggests a positive relation between the propensity of individuals to become entrepreneur and their personal wealth. Recent theoretical work and empirical evidence confirm this hypothesis. More interestingly, it has been shown that the slope of the entrepreneurship-wealth relationship increases with the extent of liquidity constraints and flattens with the magnitude of start-up costs. Using individual level data from 3 surveys (SHARE, ELSA and HRS) in Europe and the United States, as well as the World Bank’s Doing Business data, this paper empirically zeroes in on the impact of start-up costs on the self-employment-wealth relationship. The dynamic nature of the data enables us to investigate potential effects of the last global financial crisis. Results confirm the strong positive relationship between the entrepreneurial choice and wealth, as well as the negative effect stemming from the increase in start-up costs. Interestingly, although there is no strong evidence that wealth in itself played a bigger role during the crisis, we find that the negative impact of start-up costs on wealth proved to be significantly pronounced during the last crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Koffi Elitcha & Raquel Fonseca, 2016. "Self-Employment, Wealth and Start-up Costs: Evidence from a Financial Crisis," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-51, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2016s-51
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    File URL: https://cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2016s-51.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lee Branstetter & Francisco Lima & Lowell J. Taylor & Ana Venâncio, 2014. "Do Entry Regulations Deter Entrepreneurship and Job Creation? Evidence from Recent Reforms in Portugal," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(577), pages 805-832, June.
    2. Fonseca, Raquel & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sopraseuth, Thepthida, 2007. "Entrepreneurship, Wealth, Liquidity Constraints and Start-up Costs," IZA Discussion Papers 2874, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2014. "Entry regulation and entrepreneurship: a natural experiment in German craftsmanship," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1067-1101, November.
    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. Ellen R. Rissman, 2007. "Labor market transitions and self-employment," Working Paper Series WP-07-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. repec:hrv:faseco:30747190 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-Employment; Occupational Choice; Wealth; Liquidity Constraints; Start-up Costs; Financial Crisis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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