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Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats

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  • Bjuggren, Carl Magnus

    ()
    (Linköping University and Stockholm School of Economics/EHFF)

  • Johansson, Dan

    ()
    (The Ratio Institute)

  • Stenkula, Mikael

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

Research on entrepreneurship has received an increased amount of interest in recent years, with self-employment being used as the most common proxy for “entrepreneurship” in empirical studies. However, there are various ways of defining selfemployment, making it a somewhat dubious proxy. This may flaw the analysis, especially in cross-country studies, since the documentation of data often is insufficient and difficult to access due to language barriers. We present an analysis of Swedish self-employment data. We show that the measurement of self-employment has changed over time to noticeably affect the reported number of self-employed in the two major statistical sources on self-employment. The reported development of self-employment sometimes differs diametrically depending on source. Sweden is occasionally erroneously reported to show the largest increase in selfemployment in cross-country studies. Our study mimics the results of other country-specific analyses and we conclude that well-grounded conclusions require that the advantages and disadvantages of different statistical sources are recognized.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 154.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0154

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Keywords: Labor Force Survey; RAMS; self-employed; self employment; entrepreneurship;

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  1. André van Stel, 2003. "COMPENDIA 2000.2: a harmonized data set of business ownership rates in 23 OECD countries," Scales Research Reports H200302, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  2. Carree, M. & van Stel, A. & Thurik, R. & Wennekers, S., 1998. "Business Ownership and Economic Growth: an Empirical Investigation," Papers 9809/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
  3. André van Stel & Martin Carree, 2002. "Business ownership and sectoral growth," Scales Research Reports H200206, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  4. Andre van Stel, . "COMPENDIA: Harmonizing business ownership data across countries and over time," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
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Cited by:
  1. Rietveld, C.A. & Groenen, P.J.F. & Koellinger, Ph.D. & van der Loos, M.J.H.M. & Thurik, A.R., 2013. "Living Forever: Entrepreneurial Overconfidence at Older Ages," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2013-012-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  2. Florin-Marius PAVELESCU & Valentina VASILE, 2012. "Change In Economic Structure, Expansion Of University Training And Development Of Non-Wage Employment," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 35(2(44)), pages 45-74, December.
  3. Margolis, David N., 2014. "By Choice and by Necessity: Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment in the Developing World," IZA Discussion Papers 8273, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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