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Risk-bearing and Entrepreneurship

  • Newman, Andrew

In the 'Knightian' theory of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs provide insurance to workers by paying fixed wages and bear all the risk of production. This paper endogenizes entrepreneurial risk by allowing for optimal insurance contracts as well as the occupational self-selection. Moral hazard prevents full insurance; increases in an agent’s wealth then entail increases in risk borne. Thus, even under decreasing risk aversion, there are robust instances in which workers are wealthier than entrepreneurs. This empirically implausible result suggests that risk-based explanations for entrepreneurship are inadequate.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6021.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6021
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  1. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 0096, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  2. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, June.
  3. Morduch, J., 1995. "Poverty and Vulnerability," Papers 477, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:177-242 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Trade and Insurance with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 235-47, April.
  6. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  7. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  8. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  9. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 2005. "Entrepreneurship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 649-680, October.
  11. 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.
  12. Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2006. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1315-1330, September.
  13. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
  14. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  15. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Kanbur, S M, 1979. "Of Risk Taking and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 769-97, August.
  17. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  19. W. Bentley MacLeod & Daniel Parent, 1998. "Job Characteristics and the Form of Compensation," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-08, CIRANO.
  20. Dixit, Avinash, 1989. "Trade and Insurance with Imperfectly Observed Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 195-203, February.
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