Entrepreneurship is a key factor in promoting growth in output and employment. Consequently, to encourage new start-ups, most governments in developed countries have public venture capital programs. The authors develop a model that endogenously determines the number of entrepreneurs and the optimal quantity of financing and managerial advice provided by a public venture capital program. Their analysis is based on a model of occupational choice that has informational asymmetries regarding the ability of entrepreneurs. The authors identify circumstances under which over- or underinvestment can occur. They also show that the equilibrium is characterized by an inefficient number (too many or too few) of less-able entrepreneurs. Furthermore, the authors find that the government faces disincentives in providing small amounts of managerial advice; larger amounts of such advice may be optimal.

Also published as:

Public Venture Capital, Occupational Choice, and Entrepreneurship
Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy (1538-0653)
January 2004. Vol. 4, Iss. 1, Article 25, pp. 1-22