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Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Self-Employment: The Case of Older Workers

  • Julie Zissimopoulos

    ()

  • Lynn A. Karoly

    ()

  • Qian Gu

    ()

Evidence of liquidity constraints affecting entrepreneurship includes increasing rates of business formation with increases in household wealth and no relationship between the likelihood of business formation and wealth at high wealth levels. Using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study on workers over age 50 and employing probit regressions with a non-linear specification of household wealth and liquid wealth, the authors find the relationship between wealth and business formation is consistent with this pattern. The paper also finds that wealth matters more for the formation of businesses requiring high starting capital. Employing the availability of a lump-sum distribution option (LSO) of an employer-provided pension plan as a new proxy for liquidity, the results show that workers with an LSO are more likely than workers with a pension and without an LSO to transition into self-employment. This provides further evidence of the existence and importance of liquidity constraints.

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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 725.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:725
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  1. Julie Zissimopoulos & Lynn A. Karoly, 2003. "Transitions to Self-Employment at Older Ages: The Role of Wealth, Health, Health Insurance, and Other Factors," Working Papers 135, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
  3. Robert W. Fairlie & Harry A. Krashinsky, 2012. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship Revisited," CESifo Working Paper Series 3784, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  5. Michael Hurd & F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2003. "Enhancing the Quality of Data on Income: Recent Innovations from the HRS," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  6. 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.
  7. Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon & Bajtelsmit, Vickie L., 2002. "Dual private pension households and the distribution of wealth in the United States," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 131-155, July.
  8. 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.
  9. Donald Bruce & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Joseph F. Quinn, 2000. "Self-Employment and Labor Market Transitions at Older Ages," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 490, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Steven F. Venti & David A. Wise, 2001. "Choice, Chance, and Wealth Dispersion at Retirement," NBER Chapters, in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 25-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey Rosen, 1992. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," Working Papers 679, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith, 2004. "Improving the Quality of Economic Data: Lessons from the HRS and AHEAD," Labor and Demography 0402010, EconWPA.
  13. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 339-357.
  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.
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