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Self-Employment and The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital

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  • Nathalie Colombier
  • David Masclet

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Abstract

We use the European Community Household Panel Survey (ECHP) to investigate the determinants of self-employment. More precisely, we consider the influence of immediate social environments and social networks on the choice of self-employment. We conjecture that self-employment is correlated across generations because parents may transmit two classes of informal human capital to their offspring: (1) specific skills for a specific occupation and (2) general managerial skills such as the capacity to acquire autonomy, irrespective of the specific occupation. Our data allow us to dissociate those individuals who are first-generation self-employed from second-generation self-employed (i.e. those whose parents are self-employed), and, among second-generation self-employed, those individuals whose parents are in the same occupation as their offspring. Consistent with our assumptions, we show that having parents who are self-employed increases the probability of being self-employed, even when the individuals do not have the same occupation as their parents. We also observe strong differences between first and second generation self-employed workers. First-generation self-employed are generally younger and more educated than second generation self-employed. Finally our results indicate that first-generation self-employed report higher job satisfaction than second-generation self-employed. Nous étudions dans cet article les déterminants du travail indépendant à partir de l'enquête européenne des ménages (ECHP). Plus particulièrement, nous étudions le rôle joué par l'environnement familial de l'individu. L'originalité de cette étude est de montrer que les parents ne se contentent généralement pas de transmettre à leurs enfants des compétences spécifiques à un métier donné mais également certaines aptitudes managériales non spécifiques à une profession particulière, facilitant ainsi l'accès au statut d'indépendant quel que soit le métier exercé. Nos résultats montrent sans ambiguïté qu'au-delà de la transmission d'un « savoir-faire » favorisant l’accès à un métier spécifique, dans un grand nombre de cas, les parents travailleurs indépendants facilitent également l'accès de leurs enfants au statut d'indépendant et cela bien souvent, quel que soit le métier envisagé. Un autre résultat intéressant de notre étude est qu'’l existe des différences importantes au sein des travailleurs indépendants selon qu’ils ont bénéficié ou non de transmissions intergénérationnelles de la part de parents travailleurs indépendants. On observe par exemple que le niveau d’éducation formelle est davantage discriminant pour les premières générations de travailleurs indépendants (ceux dont les parents ne sont pas travailleurs indépendants) que pour les secondes générations de travailleurs indépendants (ceux dont les parents sont travailleurs indépendants).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2006s-19.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2006s-19

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Related research

Keywords: human capital; intergenerational links; self-employment; social capital ; capital humain; capital social; liens intergénérationnels; travail indépendant;

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Cited by:
  1. Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2011. "Intergenerational transmission of self-employed status in the informal sector: a constrained choice or better income prospects? Evidence from seven West-African countries," Working Papers DT/2011/09, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  2. Uwaifo Oyelere, Ruth & Belton, Willie, 2008. "The Role of Information and Institutions in Understanding the Black-White Gap in Self-Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3761, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Clark, Andrew E. & Colombier, Nathalie & Masclet, David, 2008. "Never the Same After the First Time: The Satisfaction of the Second-Generation Self-Employed," IZA Discussion Papers 3476, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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