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Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints

Listed author(s):
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    (Syracuse University)

  • David Joulfaian

    (U.S. Department of the Treasury)

  • Harvey S. Rosen

    (Princeton University)

We examine why some individuals survive as entrepreneurs and others do not. In addition. we analyze the growth of entrepreneurial enterprises, conditional on surviving. Our focus is on the role of access to capital--to what extent do liquidity constraints increase the likelihood of entrepreneurial failure? The empirical strategy is based on the following logic: If entrepreneurs cannot borrow to attain their profit-maximizing levels of capital, then those entrepreneurs who have substantial personal financial resources will be more successful than those who do not. The data consist of the 1981 and 1985 federal individual income tax returns of a group of people who received inheritances. These data allow us to identify those individuals who were sole proprietors in 1981, and to determine the extent to which the decision to remain a sole proprietor was influenced by the magnitude of the inheritance-induced increase in liquidity. The results are consistent with the notion that liquidity constraints exert a noticeable ifluence on the viability of entrepreneurial enterprises. For example, a $150,000 inheritance increases the probability that an individual will continue as a sole proprietor by 1.3 percentage points, and conditional on surviving, the receipts of the enterprise increase by almost 20 percent.

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File URL: http://dataspace.princeton.edu/jspui/handle/88435/dsp01pr76f342p
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 698.

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Date of creation: Oct 1993
Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:319
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  1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "The Carnegie Conjecture: Some Empirical Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 413-435.
  2. Martha A. Schary, 1991. "The Probability of Exit," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 339-353, Autumn.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1990. "What Makes A Young Entrepreneur?," Papers 373, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  5. 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 808-827, August.
  6. 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.
  7. John R. Baldwin & Paul K. Gorecki, 1991. "Firm Entry and Exit in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector, 1970-1982," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(2), pages 300-323, May.
  8. Evans, David S, 1987. "Tests of Alternative Theories of Firm Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 657-674, August.
  9. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
  10. Steven M. Fazzari & R. Glenn Hubbard & BRUCE C. PETERSEN, 1988. "Financing Constraints and Corporate Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 141-206.
  11. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-559, November.
  12. Bruce D. Meyer, 1990. "Why Are There So Few Black Entrepreneurs?," NBER Working Papers 3537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Wilhelm, Mark O, 1996. "Bequest Behavior and the Effect of Heirs' Earnings: Testing the Altruistic Model of Bequests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 874-892, September.
  14. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
  15. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
  16. 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 563-579, August.
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  18. Cox, Donald, 1987. "Motives for Private Income Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 508-546, June.
  19. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1992. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 679, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  20. repec:fth:prinin:299 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-450, August.
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