دسترسی به سرمایه اجتماعی و کارآفرینی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4217||2010||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 76, Issue 3, December 2010, Pages 821–833
We investigate the effect of social capital access on entrepreneurship. Social capital helps entrepreneurs to overcome resource constraints. This is especially important in small communities where we often see a lack of market-oriented institutions such as venture capital firms. Entrepreneurs gain access to social capital via club memberships. Combining differences in the number of individual club memberships with differences in the importance of social capital across communities, we identify a causal small community mark-up effect of individual club memberships on entrepreneurship. Assuming that unobserved heterogeneity that might influence both the individual's selection into clubs and the occupational choice to be an entrepreneur is independent of community size, we find that the effect of club membership on the propensity to be an entrepreneur is 2.6 percentage points larger in small communities than in large communities. Robustness tests support the validity of our identifying assumption and results.
The occupational choice to start and run an own business depends on individual abilities and skills but also on the access to social capital that facilitates the entrepreneur's access to information and resources (Granovetter, 1985).3 Particularly, the access to social capital can facilitate information diffusion and technology adoption in the process of product creation (Bramoulle and Kranton, 2007), grant access to resources like labor or finance in the startup phase (Michelacci and Silva, 2007 and Amit et al., 1990), and might even provide psychological aid in the business creation process (Sanders and Nee, 1996). The importance of social capital access in the business creation process varies across communities depending on the institutions used to enforce contracts (Kranton, 1996 and Kumar and Matsusaka, 2009). Take entrepreneurial finance as an example which is characterized by information asymmetries regarding the entrepreneur's future performance and prospects. In large communities, venture capital firms that specialize in condensing and evaluating the entrepreneur's performance and prospects provide entrepreneurial finance independent of personal contacts. By contrast, in small communities and in the absence of venture capital firms, social capital comes into play. Here, personal contacts from frequent interactions help to overcome information asymmetries and thus provide another, informal way to access entrepreneurial finance (Guiso et al., 2004, Sobel, 1985 and Michelacci and Silva, 2007).4 Empirical research on social capital suffers from various identification problems (Durlauf, 2002a and Durlauf, 2002b). As a consequence, evidence of any causal effects of social capital is scarce. As far as the role of social capital in entrepreneurship is concerned, any potential association between individuals’ access to social capital and their occupational choices can hardly be interpreted as a causal effect of social capital access since unobserved individual heterogeneity might account for differences in social capital access and at the same time for differences in their occupational choice. A very similar logic applies to the community level. Clearly, one cannot ascribe differences in the levels of entrepreneurship across communities to differences in the importance of social capital as there might be many unobserved confounding community characteristics that are correlated with both entrepreneurship and social capital. In this paper, we address these endogeneity concerns and attempt to establish plausibly causal effects of social capital access on entrepreneurship under relatively weak assumptions. To this end, we combine differences between individuals with differences across communities. On the individual level, we measure an individual's access to social capital by an individual's club memberships and then draw on individual differences in club memberships. On the community level, we exploit variation in the importance of social capital across communities of different size. We then take the cross-derivative of occupational choice with respect to club memberships and community size and find that the marginal effect of club membership on the propensity to be an entrepreneur is 2.6 percentage points larger in small communities than in large communities. Our result can be interpreted as a causal small community mark-up effect of club memberships on a person's propensity to be an entrepreneur. In other words, knowing that the importance of social capital differs across community size, an increasing number of club memberships is more valuable in smaller communities where social capital substitutes for the lack of formal institutions (that facilitate, e.g., the access to finance) than in larger communities with supporting formal institutions. Our key identifying assumption is that unobserved heterogeneity that might influence both the individual's access to social capital, i.e., the selection into clubs, and the occupational choice to be an entrepreneur, is independent of community size. Robustness tests that challenge our identifying assumption in various ways support our finding. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 introduces our method in detail; Section 3 our data. Then, in Section 4, we present our results and conduct several robustness checks that show them to be reliable. Section 5 concludes with some suggestions for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper, we investigate the effect of social capital access on entrepreneurship. Thus, our paper contributes to the literature on social capital and how it affects different economic outcomes such as new firm location (Michelacci and Silva, 2007), financial development (Guiso et al., 2004), job availability (Bayer et al., 2008), or growth (e.g., Knack and Keefer, 1997 and Routledge and von Amsberg, 2003).7 We claim that we can isolate a small community mark-up effect of club memberships on entrepreneurship. To this end, we draw on the intuition that the importance of social capital depends on community size (Kranton, 1996 and Kumar and Matsusaka, 2009). Whereas in large communities we see formal market-oriented institutions such as specialized venture capital firms providing entrepreneurial finance, in small communities would-be entrepreneurs often face a lack thereof. In this situation, social capital can play a role substitutive for more formal institutions. As such, it can for example help to overcome information asymmetries regarding the entrepreneur's future performance and prospects and thus pave the way to entrepreneurial finance. We use club memberships as a measure for an individual's access to social capital and exploit the variation in the importance of social capital across community size to identify a plausibly causal small community mark-up effect of club membership on entrepreneurship under a relatively weak assumption. Our key identifying assumption is that unobserved individual heterogeneity that might influence both the individual's club memberships and the occupational choice to be an entrepreneur is independent of community size. Indeed, we could collect some neat evidence supporting our idea. Based on this identifying assumption, we find that there is a causal small community mark-up effect of social capital access which accounts for an increase of 2.6 percentage points in the propensity to be an entrepreneur. Our analysis is based on the intuition that social capital can be a substitute for market-oriented institutions in small communities (Kumar and Matsusaka, 2009). This might lead to the question of whether it is desirable to establish more market-oriented institutions in small communities in order to formalize market exchange. Following Kranton (1996), this is not clear per se because there might as well be negative feedback loops of the emergence of new institutions on social capital deeply rooted in a community. For future research, it would thus be especially interesting to ask to what extent social capital is affected by formal institutions (cf. Tabellini, 2008). Along this line, Aghion et al. (2008) present the example of a minimum wage policy having a deleterious effect on the willingness of labor market participants to cooperate. The authors find that in the case of strong state regulations regarding the minimum wage, the labor market becomes characterized by distrustful labor relations and low union density. These findings demonstrate the value of future research on the interplay of social capital and formal institutions.