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Entrepreneurship, Wealth, Liquidity Constraints and Start-up Costs

  • Fonseca, Raquel

    ()

    (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Michaud, Pierre-Carl

    ()

    (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Sopraseuth, Thepthida

    ()

    (University of Cergy-Pontoise)

We study the effects of liquidity constraints and start-up costs on the relationship between wealth and the fraction of entrepreneurs in an economy. We develop a dynamic occupational choice model with endogenous wealth and entry into entrepreneurship. The model predicts that, with liquidity constraints, the probability of entering entrepreneurship is an increasing function of individual wealth while the introduction of start-up costs tends to flatten this relationship. The theoretical predictions can be tested on cross-sectional data with exogenous variation in liquidity constraints (e.g. access to credit) and business start-up costs. We use three highly comparable micro datasets (SHARE, ELSA and HRS) providing harmonized data on wealth and work status in 9 countries that characterized by very different levels of start-up costs and liquidity constraints. Our results support our theoretical predictions. While higher liquidity constraints yield a positive relationship with wealth profile for the fraction of workers in entrepreneurship, start-up costs weaken this relationship by depressing the marginal value of being an entrepreneur as a function of wealth. Countries with high start-up costs such as Italy, Spain and France have flatter wealth gradients.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2874.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, 2007, 28 (4), 637-674
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2874
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  1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1992. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 679, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  3. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  4. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2003. "Entrepreneurship, frictions and wealth," Working Papers 620, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2000. "Entrepreneurship and Household Saving," NBER Working Papers 7894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  7. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
  8. Paul Reynolds & Niels Bosma & Erkko Autio & Steve Hunt & Natalie De Bono & Isabel Servais & Paloma Lopez-Garcia & Nancy Chin, 2005. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data Collection Design and Implementation 1998–2003," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 205-231, 02.
  9. Anna L. Paulson & Robert M. Townsend & Alexander Karaivanov, 2006. "Distinguishing Limited Liability from Moral Hazard in a Model of Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(1), pages 100-144, February.
  10. David G. Blanchflower, 2000. "Self-Employment in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 7486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Stefano Scarpetta, 1999. "The Retirement Decision in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 202, OECD Publishing.
  12. Arie Kapteyn & Constantijn Panis, 2003. "The Size and Composition of Wealth Holdings in the United States, Italy, and the Netherlands," Working Papers 03-05, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  13. Vincenzo Quadrini, 1997. "Entrepreneurship, saving and social mobility," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 116, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
  15. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
  16. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
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