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BH-4: Finance and the Family
Does Being An Only Child Matter for Entrepreneurship and Innovation?
1Guangdong University of Finance and Economics; 2University of Science and Technology Beijing; 3Tilburg University; 4Tianjin University; 5University of Manchester
The economic and social consequences of being a single child have been a long-standing and contentious topic. Our study examines the impact of China’s One-Child Policy (OCP), the largest social experiment in human history, on entrepreneurship and innovation. Using a set of novel survey data, we document evidence that the OCP produces significantly fewer entrepreneurs and reduces corporate innovation. Further analysis suggests that these findings can be attributed mainly to an increase in risk aversion triggered by the OCP. Moreover, we find that the firms set up by only-child entrepreneurs are more hierarchical (as opposed to flat), which may also hold back innovation. Overall, our study sheds light on the importance of behavioral differences in explaining entrepreneurship and innovation.
Savvy Parent, Savvy Child? Intergenerational Correlations in Returns to Financial Wealth
1BI Norwegian Business School; 2Aalto University
The returns individuals earn on financial wealth correlate positively across generations. We establish this result by analyzing the full population of household investors in Finland. The correlation extends to both historical and expected returns and the intergenerational spread in returns implies sizeable differences in wealth accumulation over time. Asset holdings reveal that returns correlate mostly because family members choose the same securities. An instrument using non-overlapping peer groups and a natural experiment based on mergers allow us to address causality. We find causal influence not only from parents to children but also in the opposite direction. Our findings have implications for understanding wealth inequality and portfolio heterogeneity.
How Important Are Bequest Motives? Evidence Based on Shocks to Mortality
BI Norwegian Business School
This paper infers bequest motives using a unique data set containing individual cancer diagnoses, wealth, and family linkages for all citizens in Norway. Cancer diagnoses are useful instruments for identifying bequest motives because they provide new information about life expectancy, which affects people’s consumption plans differently, depending on the relative strength of their bequest and classical life-cycle savings motives. My empirical estimates show that couples tend to respond to a cancer diagnosis by saving more, indicating a strong bequest motive for spouse. This result holds both across the wealth distribution and over the life cycle. In contrast to couples, singles respond to a cancer diagnosis by spending more. However, part of the decrease in financial wealth among singles with children reflects transfers of wealth during the diagnosed person’s lifetime, so-called inter vivos transfers.
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Conference: EFA 2017
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