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The Capital Structure of Young Firms and the Working Experience of New Entrepreneurs

  • Enrico Colombatto

    ()

  • Arie Melnik

    ()

We use a simple model to analyze the funding stage of new firms and characterize the directional causality between the ir capital structure and the length of prior working experience that entrepreneurs possess. In this light, we test a set of predictions by considering a sample of firms founded by Italian entrepreneurs in the period 1992-2004. We obtain three main results. First, we confirm the evidence presented in the literature, whereby the size of the firm has a significant effect on capital structure. Second, we find that previous working experiences of entrepreneurs in full-time employment (before founding a new firm) have a positive impact on the debt-to-asset ratio of newly founded firms. Third, we show that firms with access to subsidized government debt are able to increase the ir share of debt in total liabilities, even when the size of the subsidy is small.

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File URL: http://servizi.sme.unito.it/icer_repec/RePEc/icr/wp2008/ICERwp08-08.pdf
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Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 08-2008.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:08-2008
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  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 2001. "Small business credit availability and relationship lending: the importance of bank organizational structure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  4. repec:hal:journl:hal-00480047 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Bennedsen, Morten & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2000. "The balance of power in closely held corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 113-139.
  6. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Allen N. Berger & Gregory F. Udell, 1998. "The economics of small business finance: the roles of private equity and debt markets in the financial growth cycle," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
  10. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
  11. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-79, August.
  12. Chittenden, Francis & Hall, Graham & Hutchinson, Patrick, 1996. " Small Firm Growth, Access to Capital Markets and Financial Structure: Review of Issues and an Empirical Investigation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 59-67, February.
  13. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. Astebro, Thomas & Bernhardt, Irwin, 2003. "Start-up financing, owner characteristics, and survival," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 303-319.
  15. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  16. Rebel A. Cole & John D. Wolken, 1995. "Financial services used by small businesses: evidence from the 1993 National Survey of Small Business Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jul, pages 629-667.
  17. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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