More Money, More Options? The Effect of Cash Windfalls on Entrepreneurial Activities in Small Businesses

72 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2018 Last revised: 1 Nov 2021

See all articles by Jacelly Cespedes

Jacelly Cespedes

University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management

Xing Huang

Washington University in St. Louis - Olin Business School

Carlos Parra

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - School of Business

Date Written: October 19, 2021

Abstract

Using a novel setting in which retailers receive bonuses when selling jackpot winning lottery tickets, we show that large windfalls not only increase the revenue and employment of existing businesses but also spur serial entrepreneurship. Serial ventures occur mainly in nonretail industries. We document a pecking order in entrepreneurs' responses: small windfalls increase revenue, whereas windfalls larger than $100,000 trigger business creation and employment growth. Consistent with wealth effects as an indispensable mechanism, the effects become larger still when cash windfalls far surpass the amount required to start new businesses. Finally, cash windfalls do not lead to financial distress.

Keywords: cash windfall, cash transfers, small businesses, entrepreneurship, Mega Millions, Powerball, lottery

JEL Classification: G32, L26, M13

Suggested Citation

Cespedes, Jacelly and Huang, Xing and Parra, Carlos, More Money, More Options? The Effect of Cash Windfalls on Entrepreneurial Activities in Small Businesses (October 19, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3301451 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3301451

Jacelly Cespedes (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/jacellycespedes/

Xing Huang

Washington University in St. Louis - Olin Business School ( email )

Simon Hall 211
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

Carlos Parra

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - School of Business ( email )

Vicuna Mackenna 4860
Santiago
Chile

HOME PAGE: http://www.carlosrparra.com/

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