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The Decision to Become an Entrepreneur and the Firm Size Distribution: A Unifying Framework for Policy Analysis

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  • Poschke, Markus

    () (McGill University)

Abstract

Developing and emerging economies have high entrepreneurship rates and relatively many small firms. There is enormous heterogeneity among these firms and entrepreneurs. This paper presents a simple occupational choice model that captures motives for entrepreneurship at both edges of the size distribution. The model is then used to analyse the effects of productivity growth, distortions, financial and labor market frictions, and risk. Capturing entrepreneurship across the size distribution allows for different reactions of high- and low-ability entrepreneurs to changes in policies and the environment. These may result in powerful general equilibrium effects. In particular, policies affecting high-ability entrepreneurs potentially running large firms can indirectly have a strong effect on entry by low-ability entrepreneurs and thus on the prevalence of small firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Poschke, Markus, 2013. "The Decision to Become an Entrepreneur and the Firm Size Distribution: A Unifying Framework for Policy Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7757
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    Cited by:

    1. POSCHKE, Markus, 2011. "The Firm Size Distribution across Countries and Skill-Biased Change in Entrepreneurial Technology," Cahiers de recherche 08-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Hadi Salehi Esfahani & Roksana Bahramitash, 2015. "Gender, Enterprise Ownership, and Labor Allocation in MENA: the Roles of Islam, Oil, and Government Policies," Working Papers 951, Economic Research Forum, revised Sep 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; firm entry and exit; development; labor market regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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