IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry


  • Brian Wu
  • Anne Marie Knott


This paper attempts to reconcile the risk-bearing characterization of entrepreneurs with the stylized fact that entrepreneurs exhibit conventional risk aversion profiles. We propose that the disparity arises from confounding two distinct dimensions of uncertainty: demand uncertainty and ability uncertainty. We further propose that entrepreneurs will be risk averse with respect to demand uncertainty, yet “risk-seeking” (or overconfident) with respect to ability uncertainty. To examine this view we model the entrepreneur’s entry decision then test the model empirically. We find that entrepreneurs in aggregate behave as we predict. Accordingly, risk-averse entrepreneurs are willing to bear market risk when the degree of ability uncertainty is comparable to the degree of demand uncertainty. A potential market failure exists however in instances where there is a high degree of demand uncertainty, but low ability uncertainty. In those settings there may be insufficient entry, competition and innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2005. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," The Office of Advocacy Small Business Working Papers 05bwmk, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sba:wpaper:05bwmk

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sba:wpaper:05bwmk. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Victoria Williams) or (Rob Kleinsteuber). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.