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Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs

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Author Info

  • Michael D. Giandrea

    ()
    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Kevin E. Cahill

    ()
    (Analysis Group, Inc.)

  • Joseph F. Quinn, Ph.D.

    ()
    (Boston College)

Abstract

What role does self-employment play in the retirement process? Older Americans are staying in the labor force longer than prior trends would have predicted and many change jobs later in life. These job transitions are often within the same occupation or across occupations within wage-and-salary employment. The transition can also be out of wage-and-salary work and into self employment. Indeed, national statistics show that self employment becomes more prevalent with age, partly because self employment provides older workers with opportunities not found in traditional wage-and-salary jobs, such as flexibility in hours worked and independence. This paper analyzes transitions into and out of self employment among older workers who have had career jobs. We utilize the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally-representative dataset of older Americans, to investigate the prevalence of self employment among older workers who made a job transition later in life and to explore the factors that determine the choice of wage-and-salary employment or self employment. We find that post-career transitions into and out of self employment are common and that health status, career occupation, and financial variables are important determinants of these transitions. As older Americans and the country as a whole face financial strains in retirement income in the years ahead, self employment may be a vital part of the pro-work solution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 418.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec080040

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Keywords: Retirement; Retirement Transitions; Self Employment;

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References

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  1. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  2. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  3. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
  4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," NBER Working Papers 4526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 339-357.
  6. Donald Bruce & Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Joseph F. Quinn, 2000. "Self-Employment and Labor Market Transitions at Older Ages," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 490, Boston College Department of Economics.
  7. Lettau, Michael K., 1997. "Compensation in part-time jobs versus full-time jobs What if the job is the same?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 101-106, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Henkens, C.J.I.M. & Dalen, H.P. van, 2011. "The employer’s perspective on retirement," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4807650, Tilburg University.
  2. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Martin Carree, 2010. "The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development: is it U-shaped?," Scales Research Reports H200824, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  3. Velamuri, Malathi, 2009. "Taxes, Health Insurance and Women's Self-Employment," MPRA Paper 50474, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2012.
  4. Kevin E. Cahill & Michael D. Giandrea & Joseph F. Quinn, 2012. "The Relationship between Work Decisions and Location Later in Life," Working Papers 458, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  5. Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2010. "Employment Patterns and Determinants Among Older Individuals with a History of Short-Duration Jobs," Working Papers 440, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  6. Robert Clark & Melinda Morrill, 2013. "Increasing Work Life: The Role Of The Employer," Discussion Papers 13-016, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Simoes, Nadia & Moreira, Sandrina B. & Crespo, Nuno, 2013. "Individual Determinants of Self-Employment Entry – What Do We Really Know?," MPRA Paper 48403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kevin E. Cahill, & Michael D. Giandrea, & Joseph F. Quinn, 2013. "Are Gender Differences Emerging in the Retirement Patterns of the Early Boomers?," Working Papers 468, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  9. Hannu Tervo & Hannu Niittykangas, 2011. "Self-employment transitions at older ages in different local labor markets," ERSA conference papers ersa11p764, European Regional Science Association.

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