Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Finance

First Advisor

Lucian Taylor

Abstract

We establish the relevance of human capital to startup financing. Using administrative databases from the Central Bank of Brazil, we obtain information on private firms, their founders and their access to bank credit. Our empirical strategy is based on the premature death of founders, which allows us to identify how losing founders' human capital affects startup financing. The results show that once a founder dies unexpectedly, there is a decrease in the amount of credit and an increase in interest rates and default rates. These findings are mainly driven by the death of founders who are also managers in the firm, which is consistent with the theory of founders contributing critical resources to their firms.

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