NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Tuomas Matikka

VATT Institute for Economic Research
Arkadiankatu 7
00101, Helsinki
Finland

E-Mail: tuomas.matikka@vatt.fi
Institutional Affiliation: VATT Institute for Economic Research

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2019Does Mandating Social Insurance Affect Entrepreneurial Activity?
with Youssef Benzarti, Jarkko Harju: w25651
This paper estimates the effect of relaxing the social insurance mandate on entrepreneurial activity. We use a unique discontinuity in Finland that allows certain entrepreneurs not to pay social insurance contributions on their income. Using rich administrative data, we find that relaxing the social insurance mandate leads entrepreneurs to significantly reduce their contributions, which they channel instead into their firms. While young firms use this windfall to increase business activity, older ones use it to improve their net lending position by purchasing stocks. Our results imply that the social insurance mandate is binding and its efficiency cost is heterogeneous.
 
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