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Can Unemployment Insurance Spur Entrepreneurial Activity?

Author

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  • Hombert, Johan
  • Schoar, Antoinette S
  • Sraer, David
  • Thesmar, David

Abstract

We study a large-scale French reform that provided generous downside insurance for unemployed individuals starting a business. We study whether this reform affects the composition of people who are drawn into entrepreneurship. New firms started in response to the reform are, on average, smaller, but have similar growth expectations and education levels compared to start-ups before the reform. They are also as likely to survive or to hire. In aggregate, the effect of the reform on employment is largely offset by large crowd-out effects. However, because new firms are more productive, the reform has the impact of raising aggregate productivity. These results suggest that the dispersion of entrepreneurial abilities is small in the data, so that the facilitation of entry leads to sizable Schumpeterian dynamics at the firm-level.

Suggested Citation

  • Hombert, Johan & Schoar, Antoinette S & Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2014. "Can Unemployment Insurance Spur Entrepreneurial Activity?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10294, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10294
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Bonnet, 2016. "From Knowledge to Innovation Economy: Developing Education and Creating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2016-02, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Pástor, Lˇuboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2016. "Income inequality and asset prices under redistributive taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & Ramana Nanda, 2015. "House Money and Entrepreneurship," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-069, Harvard Business School.
    5. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2016. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," NBER Working Papers 22436, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crowding out; Entrepreneurship; Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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