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Can Unemployment Insurance Spur Entrepreneurial Activity?

Author

Listed:
  • Johan Hombert
  • Antoinette Schoar
  • David Sraer
  • David Thesmar

Abstract

We study a large-scale French reform that provided generous downside insurance for unemployed individuals starting a business. We study whether this reform affects the composition of people who are drawn into entrepreneurship. New firms started in response to the reform are, on average, smaller, but have similar growth expectations and education levels compared to start-ups before the reform. They are also as likely to survive or to hire. In aggregate, the effect of the reform on employment is largely offset by large crowd-out effects. However, because new firms are more productive, the reform has the impact of raising aggregate productivity. These results suggest that the dispersion of entrepreneurial abilities is small in the data, so that the facilitation of entry leads to sizable Schumpeterian dynamics at the firm-level.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Hombert & Antoinette Schoar & David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2014. "Can Unemployment Insurance Spur Entrepreneurial Activity?," NBER Working Papers 20717, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20717
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    Cited by:

    1. Drautzburg, Thorsten, 2019. "Entrepreneurial tail risk: Implications for employment dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 85-100.
    2. Sónia Félix & Chiara Maggi, 2019. "What is the Impact of Increased Business Competition?," Working Papers w201904, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    3. Roulleau-Pasdeloup, Jordan, 2020. "A Puncher’s chance: Expected gain and risk taking in a market for superstars," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    4. Gerald Carlino & Thorsten Drautzburg, 2020. "The role of startups for local labor markets," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(6), pages 751-775, September.
    5. Pástor, Lˇuboš & Veronesi, Pietro, 2016. "Income inequality and asset prices under redistributive taxation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 1-20.
    6. Xu, Wenjian, 2018. "Entrepreneurship among the Unemployed: the Effect of Unemployment Benefit," SocArXiv 5dahz, Center for Open Science.
    7. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Weissenberger, Martin, 2020. "Catching up or lagging behind? The long-term business and innovation potential of subsidized start-ups out of unemployment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(10).
    8. Marieke Bos & Emily Breza & Andres Liberman, 2018. "The Labor Market Effects of Credit Market Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(6), pages 2005-2037.
    9. Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr & Ramana Nanda, 2015. "House Money and Entrepreneurship," Harvard Business School Working Papers 15-069, Harvard Business School.
    10. Joaquin Garcia-Cabo & Rocio Madera, 2019. "The Self-Employment Option in Rigid Labor Markets: An Empirical Investigation," International Finance Discussion Papers 1264, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Jean Bonnet, 2016. "From Knowledge to Innovation Economy: Developing Education and Creating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2016-02, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    12. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Sakai Ando, 2017. "Size-Dependent Policies and Efficient Firm Creation," ISER Discussion Paper 1033, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jun 2018.
    14. Sari Kerr & William R. Kerr & Ramana Nanda, 2015. "House Prices, Home Equity and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from U.S. Census Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 21458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Battaglia, Marianna & Gulesci, Selim & Madestam, Andreas, 2018. "Repayment Flexibility and Risk Taking: Experimental Evidence from Credit Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 13329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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