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The properties of income risk in privately held businesses

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Abstract

Our paper represents the first attempt in the literature to estimate the properties of business income risk from privately held businesses in the US. Using a new, large, and confidential panel of US income tax returns for the period 1987-2009, we extensively document the empirical stylized facts about the evolution of various business income risk measures over time. We find that business income is much riskier than labor income, not only because of the probability of business exit, but also because of higher income fluctuations, conditional on no exit. We show that business income is less persistent, but is also characterized by higher probabilities of extreme upward transition, compared to labor income. Furthermore, the distribution of percent changes for business income is more dispersed than that for labor income, and it also indicates that business income faces substantially higher tail risks. Our results suggest that the high-income households are more likely to bear both the big positive and the big negative business income percent changes.

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  • Jason M. DeBacker & Bradley T. Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2012. "The properties of income risk in privately held businesses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2012-69
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    Cited by:

    1. Maik Heinemann & Alexander Wulff, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Financial Integration - A Discussion of Ambiguous Results," Working Papers 2015019, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    2. Mariacristina De Nardi & Fella Giulio & Fang Yang, 2016. "Piketty’s Book and Macro Models of Wealth Inequality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Drautzburg, Thorsten, 2019. "Entrepreneurial tail risk: Implications for employment dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 85-100.
    4. Kartashova, Katya, 2018. "Improving public equity markets? No pain, no gain," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 69-72.
    5. Damiano Sandri, 2014. "Growth and Capital Flows with Risky Entrepreneurship," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 102-123, July.
    6. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2015. "Quantitative Models of Wealth Inequality: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 21106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Wulff, Alexander & Heinemann, Maik, 2015. "Idiosyncratic Risk, Borrowing Constraints and Financial Integration - A Discussion of Ambiguous Results," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113165, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Monica Garcia-Perez & Christopher Goetz & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky, 2013. "Don't Quit Your Day Job: Using Wage and Salary Earnings to Support a New Business," Working Papers 13-45, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Jonathan Goldberg, 2014. "Idiosyncratic Investment Risk and Business Cycles," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. De Nardi, Mariacristina & Yang, Fang, 2016. "Wealth inequality, family background, and estate taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 130-145.
    11. Mariacristina De Nardi & Giulio Fella, 2017. "Saving and Wealth Inequality," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 280-300, October.

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