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Subsidizing Startups under Imperfect Information

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Abstract

We study the early stages of firm creation under imperfect information. Because startups make error-prone decisions due to rational inattention, the model generates both inefficient entry and labor misallocation. We show that information frictions alter the effects of lump-sum transfers to startups: the total employment gain is amplified due to an unintended increase in inefficient entry, most entrants hire fewer workers, and misallocation goes up. The transfer makes low-size, previously dominated actions profitable, affecting the entire endogenous learning problem and making even productive startups lean toward more conservative hiring. We show that this novel information channel works against well-known mechanisms (for example, financial frictions) and also dampens the effects of alternative policies such as wage subsidies.

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  • Davide Melcangi & Javier Turen, 2021. "Subsidizing Startups under Imperfect Information," Staff Reports 995, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:93504
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    startups; rational inattention; firm subsidy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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