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Black and White: Access to Capital among Minority-Owned Startups

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  • Robert W. Fairlie
  • Alicia Robb
  • David T. Robinson

Abstract

We use confidential and restricted-access data from the Kauffman Firm Survey and matched administrative data on credit scores to explore racial disparities in access to capital for new business ventures. The novel results on racial inequality in startup financing indicate that black-owned startups start smaller and stay smaller over the entire first eight years of their existence. Black startups face more difficulty in raising external capital, especially external debt. We find that disparities in credit-worthiness constrain black entreprenuers, but perceptions of treatment by banks also hold them back. Black entrepreneurs apply for loans less often than white entrepreneurs largely because they expect to be denied credit, even when they have a good credit history and in settings where strong local banks favor new business development.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia Robb & David T. Robinson, 2020. "Black and White: Access to Capital among Minority-Owned Startups," NBER Working Papers 28154, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28154
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabrina T. Howell & Theresa Kuchler & David Snitkof & Johannes Stroebel & Jun Wong, 2021. "Lender Automation and Racial Disparities in Credit Access," NBER Working Papers 29364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Job Boerma & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2023. "Reparations and Persistent Racial Wealth Gaps," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 171-221.
    3. Tan, Eugene & Zeida, Teegawende H., 2024. "Consumer demand and credit supply as barriers to growth for Black-owned startups," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. Sabrina T. Howell & Theresa Kuchler & David Snitkof & Johannes Stroebel & Jun Wong, 2021. "Racial Disparities in Access to Small Business Credit: Evidence from the Paycheck Protection Program," CESifo Working Paper Series 9345, CESifo.
    5. , 2021. "Racial Wealth Disparities: Reconsidering the Roles of Human Capital and Inheritance," Working Papers 22-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    6. Sergey Chernenko & David S. Scharfstein, 2022. "Racial Disparities in the Paycheck Protection Program," NBER Working Papers 29748, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Marta Morazzoni & Andrea Sy, 2021. "Female Entrepreneurship, Financial Frictions and Capital Misallocation in the US," Working Papers 1299, Barcelona School of Economics.
    8. Catherine E. Fazio & Jorge Guzman & Yupeng Liu & Scott Stern, 2021. "How is COVID Changing the Geography of Entrepreneurship? Evidence from the Startup Cartography Project," NBER Working Papers 28787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rosanna Garcia & Daniel W. Baack, 2023. "The Invisible Racialized Minority Entrepreneur: Using White Solipsism to Explain the White Space," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 188(3), pages 397-418, December.
    10. Bento, Pedro & Hwang, Sunju, 2023. "Barriers to black entrepreneurship: Implications for welfare and aggregate output over time," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 16-34.
    11. Erik Dolson & Julapa Jagtiani, 2021. "Which Lenders Are More Likely to Reach Out to Underserved Consumers: Banks versus Fintechs versus Other Nonbanks?," Working Papers 21-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    12. Benjamin Collier & Sabrina T. Howell & Lea Rendell, 2024. "After the Storm: How Emergency Liquidity Helps Small Businesses Following Natural Disasters," Working Papers 24-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Mee Jung Kim & Kyung Min Lee & J. David Brown & John S. Earle, 2021. "Black Entrepreneurs, Job Creation, and Financial Constraints," Working Papers 21-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. Rachel Atkins & Lisa Cook & Robert Seamans, 2022. "Discrimination in lending? Evidence from the Paycheck Protection Program," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 58(2), pages 843-865, February.
    15. Ewens, Michael, 2022. "Race and Gender in Entrepreneurial Finance," SocArXiv djf8z, Center for Open Science.
    16. Shahriar Akter & Saida Sultana & Marcello Mariani & Samuel Fosso Wamba & Konstantina Spanaki & Yogesh Dwivedi, 2023. "Advancing algorithmic bias management capabilities in AI-driven marketing analytics research," Post-Print hal-04194438, HAL.
    17. Engelberg, Joseph E. & Guzman, Jorge & Lu, Runjing & Mullins, William, 2021. "Partisan Entrepreneurship," SocArXiv qhs6j, Center for Open Science.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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