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Returns to education and experience in self-employment: Evidence from Germany

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  • Williams, Donald R.

    (Kent State University, Kent OH 44242, USA)

Abstract

This paper compares the returns to human capital in the self-employed and wage-employed sectors of the economy. Using data from the former West German sample of the German Socioeconomic Panel survey for the 1984-1997 time period, we estimate returns to education and work experience from standard log-earnings equations for self-employed and wage-employed workers. Two key results are found. First, additional schooling has a smaller effect on earnings for the self-employed than for the wage-employed. Indeed, educational attainment has an insignificant effect on self-employment earnings. Second, prior self-employment experience receives a lower return in wage-employment than does prior wage-employment experience. These results are consistent across specifications controlling for education endogeneity and self-selection bias.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD in its series IRISS Working Paper Series with number 2002-04.

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Date of creation: Dec 2002
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Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2002-04

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  1. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
  2. Trostel, Philip & Walker, Ian & Woolley, Paul, 2002. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for 28 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-16, February.
  3. Clain, Suzanne Heller, 2000. "Gender differences in full-time self-employment," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 499-513.
  4. Philip Trostel & Ian Walker, 2006. "Education and Work," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-399.
  5. Williams, Donald R., 2000. "Consequences of self-employment for women and men in the United States," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 665-687, September.
  6. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
  7. 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.
  8. Lechner, Michael, 1995. "Some Specification Tests for Probit Models Estimated on Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 475-88, October.
  9. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  10. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  11. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Fossen, Frank M. & Büttner, Tobias J. M., 2012. "The Returns to Education for Opportunity Entrepreneurs, Necessity Entrepreneurs, and Paid Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 6819, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Parker, Simon C., 2008. "Entrepreneurship among married couples in the United States: A simultaneous probit approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 459-481, June.
  3. Hyytinen, Ari & Rouvinen, Petri, 2008. "The labour market consequences of self-employment spells: European evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 246-271, April.
  4. Lechmann, Daniel S. J. & Schnabel, Claus, 2012. "What explains the gender earnings gap in self-employment? A decomposition analysis with German data," Discussion Papers 77, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  5. Alejos, Luis Alejandro, 2006. "La elección del sector laboral y los retornos a la educación en Guatemala
    [Labour Sector Choice and the Returns to Education in Guatemala]
    ," MPRA Paper 42756, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Johannes Martin, 2013. "The Impact on Earnings When Entering Self-Employment: Evidence for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 537, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Kaiser, Ulrich & Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj, 2011. "Is self-employment really a bad experience?: The effects of previous self-employment on subsequent wage-employment wages," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 572-588, September.
  8. Baumann, Florian & Brändle, Tobias, 2012. "Self-employment, educational attainment and employment protection legislation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 846-859.

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