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Liquidity, Risk, and Occupational Choices

  • Bobba, Matteo
  • Bianchi, Milo

We explore which financial constraints matter the most in the choice of becoming an entrepreneur. We consider a randomly assigned welfare program in rural Mexico and show that cash transfers signi cantly increase entry into entrepreneurship. We then exploit the cross-household variation in the timing of these transfers and nd that current occupational choices are signi cantly more responsive to the transfers expected for the future than to those currently received. Guided by a simple occu- pational choice model, we argue that the program has promoted entrepreneurship by enhancing the willingness to bear risk as opposed to simply relaxing current liquidity constraints.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/5380.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Publication status: Published in The Review of Economic Studies, 2013, Vol. 80, no. 2. pp. 491-511.Length: 20 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/5380
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  1. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
  2. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Sticking it Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "Introduction to development theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, November.
  4. Hausmann, Ricardo & Rodrik, Dani, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," Working Paper Series rwp02-023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  5. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
  6. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2011. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: Evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 159-173, November.
  7. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Duflo, Esther, 2005. "Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 473-552 Elsevier.
  8. Gertler, Paul & Martinez, Sebastian & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2006. "Investing cash transfers to raise long term living standards," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3994, The World Bank.
  9. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
  10. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 935-960.
  11. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
  12. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
  13. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2007. "Returns to capital in microenterprises : evidence from a field experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4230, The World Bank.
  14. 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.
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