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Risk attitudes and private business equity

  • Fossen, Frank M.

Why do people engage in entrepreneurship and commit large parts of their personal wealth to their business, despite comparably low returns and high risk? This paper connects several streams of literature to shed some light on this puzzle and suggests possible future research avenues. Key insights from the literature are that entrepreneurs may operate in imperfect financial markets and that entrepreneurs are less risk-averse than the rest of the population. A focus of this paper is, therefore, on the role of heterogeneous risk attitudes in entrepreneurial decisions, specifically portfolio choice and the entry and exit decisions. Nonpecuniary benefits of entrepreneurship, such as being independent in the workplace, also contribute to an explanation of entrepreneurial behavior.

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Paper provided by Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 2012/11.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201211
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  7. Cressy, Robert, 2000. "Credit rationing or entrepreneurial risk aversion? An alternative explanation for the Evans and Jovanovic finding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 235-240, February.
  8. Frank M. Fossen, 2009. "Would a Flat-Rate Tax Stimulate Entrepreneurship in Germany? A Behavioural Microsimulation Analysis Allowing for Risk," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 179-218, 06.
  9. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Taxation, entrepreneurship, and wealth," Staff Report 340, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  17. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
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