Working Paper No. 390 | September 2003

Savings of Entrepreneurs

Previous work on entrepreneurship and wealth has documented that entrepreneurial households are wealthier and have higher wealth mobility. However, the literature has not paid attention to the components of wealth change. Furthermore, endogeneity problems in the measurement of the interaction between saving rates and entrepreneurship are not well addressed.

In this paper, by reexamining the relationship between entrepreneurship and household wealth more rigorously, I show that while entrepreneurial households save more out of their income, it is not true that they experience higher rates of wealth increase or capital gains. In my analyses, I control for the endogeneity between the decision to start a business and household savings. I find some evidence that the decision to become a business owner is endogenous to the rate of capital gains and to the rate of saving (out of income). My results also show that households do not save more in order to start a business. Therefore, the evidence suggests that business owners save more, but not that those who save more become business owners.

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