This paper introduces a theory of entrepreneurial assets transfer consistent with empirical evidence and centered around a business for sale market that values firms based on their intangible assets. We consider the key endogenous entrepreneurial choices to purchase, found, sell or liquidate business assets and the equilibrium price designed to capture both the intertemporal and the intangible value of a firm. We distinguish earlystage and mature firms as the latter are less likely to fail, make higher profits and face less stringent financial constraints. We argue that maturity translates the intangible value of a firm. We discipline our model using U.S. surveys and a new dataset of business selling transactions. We show that the absence of the business for sale market leads to a severe drop in aggregate output. Then, decomposing the effects of maturity, we show how they shape aggregate outcomes and wealth concentration.
Entrepreneurship, Business transfers, Intangible Assets;
- E21: Consumption • Saving • Wealth
- E23: Production
- J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity
TSE Working Paper, n° 20-1078, février 2020