Is inequality bad for business : a non-linear microeconomic model of wealth effects on self-employment
It is widely assumed that pervasive credit market failures mean that a person's current wealth is critical to whether or not that person can take up opportunities to start a new business. The authors show that inequality in wealth can be either good or bad for the level of entrepreneurship in an economy, depending on how diminishing returns to capital interact with borrowing constraints at the microeconomic level. They use nonparametric regression methods to study wealth effects on business start-ups among migrants returning to their home country, Tunisia. They include controls for heterogeneity, with specification tests for the nonseparable effects with wealth and for selection bias. There is no evidence of increasing returns at low wealth. The aggregate number of business start-ups is an increasing function of aggregate wealth but a decreasing function of wealth inequality. In other words, at any given mean, the higher the initial inequality of wealth, the lower the rate of new business start-ups, through the existence of diminshing returns to capital given liquidity constraints. In this sense, the results suggest that inequality is bad for business--but the size of this effect is small. The findings do not constitute a case for public redistribution of wealth as a means of stimulating business activity. There should probably be more research on interventions to reduce liquidity constraints.
|Date of creation:||31 Jan 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Bénabou, Roland, 1996.
"Inequality and Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1450, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993.
"Occupational Choice and the Process of Development,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
- Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1998. "Does aggregation hide the harmful effects of inequality on growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-77, October.
- Thierry Magnac & Jean-Marc Robin, 1996.
"Occupational choice and liquidity constraints,"
- Banerjee, Abhijit V & Duflo, Esther, 2003.
"Inequality and Growth: What Can the Data Say?,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 267-99, September.
- Thomas Piketty, 1997. "The Dynamics of the Wealth Distribution and the Interest Rate with Credit Rationing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 173-189.
- Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999.
"Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & GarcÃa-PeÃ±alosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and economic growth: the perspective of the new growth theories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9908, CEPREMAP.
- Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-54, July.
- Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991.
"What Makes an Entrepreneur?,"
Economics Series Working Papers
99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Atkinson, A.B. & Brandolini, A., 2000.
"Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data -Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries,"
379, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Andrea Brandolini, 2000. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of 'Secondary' Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 379, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- 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.
- repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
- Holtz-Eakin, D. & Joulfaian, D. & Rosen, H.S., 1992.
"Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints,"
129, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
- 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.
- Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1990. "What Makes an Entrepreneur? Evidence on Inheritance and Capital Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 1997. "A Theory of Trickle-Down Growth and Development," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 151-172.
- Adonis Yatchew, 1998. "Nonparametric Regression Techniques in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 669-721, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2527. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.