We empirically test if household wealth inequality affects borrowing constraints of young entrepreneurs. We construct a measure of wealth inequality at the US county level based on the distribution of financial rents in 2004. We find that in more unequal areas, entrepreneurs are less likely to apply for a loan fearing that their applications will be turned down and they use more of their own funds to finance their ventures. In more unequal areas, the number of bank establishments per capita is lower, this effect being stronger during the 2007–2008 financial crisis.

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Keywords Entrepreneurship, Financial constraints, Wealth inequality
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11187-017-9906-2, hdl.handle.net/1765/100964
Journal Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal
Braggion, F. (Fabio), Dwarkasing, M. (Mintra), & Ongena, S. (2017). Household wealth inequality, entrepreneurs’ financial constraints, and the great recession: evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey. Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal, 1–11. doi:10.1007/s11187-017-9906-2