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The Private Equity Premium Puzzle Revisited: New Evidence on the Role of Heterogeneous Risk Attitudes

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  • Frank M. Fossen

Abstract

The empirical finding that entrepreneurs tend to invest a large share of their wealth in their own firms despite comparably low returns and high risk has become known as the private equity premium puzzle. This paper provides evidence supporting the hypothesis that lower risk aversion of entrepreneurs, and not necessarily credit constraints, may explain this puzzle. The analysis is based on a large, representative panel data set for Germany, which provides information on asset portfolios and experimentally validated risk attitudes. The results show that both the ownership probability and the conditional portfolio share of private business equity significantly increase with higher risk tolerance.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank M. Fossen, 2008. "The Private Equity Premium Puzzle Revisited: New Evidence on the Role of Heterogeneous Risk Attitudes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 839, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp839
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    Cited by:

    1. Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2014. "Entry regulation and entrepreneurship: a natural experiment in German craftsmanship," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1067-1101, November.
    2. de Blasio, Guido & De Paola, Maria & Poy, Samuele & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2018. "Risk Aversion and Entrepreneurship: New Evidence Exploiting Exposure to Massive Earthquakes in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 12057, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Francine Lafontaine & Kathryn Shaw, 2016. "Serial Entrepreneurship: Learning by Doing?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S2), pages 217-254.
    4. Weber, Jeremy G. & Key, Nigel D., 2013. "Does proprietor wealth influence small business decisions? Land appreciation and farm business borrowing, land ownership, and output," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150408, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Frank M. Fossen & Davud Rostam-Afschar, 2013. "Precautionary and Entrepreneurial Savings: New Evidence from German Households," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(4), pages 528-555, August.
    6. Maier, Michael & Argaw, Bethlehem A. & Maier, Michael F. & Skriabikova, Olga J., 2016. "Risk attitudes, job mobility and subsequent wage growth during the early career," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145677, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Skriabikova, Olga J. & Dohmen, Thomas & Kriechel, Ben, 2014. "New evidence on the relationship between risk attitudes and self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 176-184.
    8. Frank M. Fossen & Ray Rees & Davud Rostam-Afschar & Viktor Steiner, 2020. "The effects of income taxation on entrepreneurial investment: A puzzle?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(6), pages 1321-1363, December.
    9. Argaw, Bethlehem A. & Maier, Michael F. & Skriabikova, Olga J., 2017. "Risk attitudes, job mobility and subsequent wage growth during the early career," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-023, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    10. Cumming, Douglas & Li, Dan, 2013. "Public policy, entrepreneurship, and venture capital in the United States," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 345-367.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Private Equity; Investment; Risk Aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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