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Only the lonely?: the influence of spouse on the transition to self-employment

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  • Berkay Özcan

Abstract

Previous research showed that married individuals are overrepresented among the self-employed. Few studies proposed skill-spillover between the spouses within the marriage as an explanation. This paper deviates from the previous research by exploring different relationship contexts (e.g., cohabitation, being married or divorced, a widow(er) or single) and the role of partner influences under these contexts. It argues that the interaction between gender and relationship status implies variation in not only resources but also constraints, and hence sorts individuals into two different types of self-employment: entrepreneurial self-employment (i.e., incorporated business) and unincorporated self-employment. Using “Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) 1965–2005” data, results of the competing risk models show that marital status contributes to both types of self-employment transitions, especially for men, but also for women. Cohabitation is a less supportive context for entrepreneurship and a partner’s self-employment experience increases only women’s likelihood of entering into entrepreneurship. These results suggest that skill-spillover between partners might be context dependent and only in one direction (from men to women).

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38479/
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 38479.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Publication status: Published in Small Business Economics, October, 2011, 37(4), pp. 465-492. ISSN: 1573-0913
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:38479

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Related research

Keywords: ISI; entrepreneurship; gender; occupation choice; family; marriage; cohabitation;

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  1. Blanchflower, David G., 2007. "Entrepreneurship in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 1942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
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  6. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
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  8. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  9. Carroll, Glenn R. & Mosakowski, Elaine M., 1987. "The Career Dynamics of Self-Employment," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt13p1n10b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  10. J. Fitzgerald & P. Gottschalk & R. Moffitt, . "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1156-98, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  11. Blanchflower, David G & Meyer, Bruce D, 1994. " A Longitudinal Analysis of the Young Self-Employed in Australia and the United States," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19, February.
  12. Greg Duncan & Saul Hoffman, 1985. "A reconsideration of the economic consequences of marital dissolution," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 485-497, November.
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