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Are the self-employed really jacks-of-all-trades? Testing the assumptions and implications of Lazear's theory of entrepreneurship with German data

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  • Lechmann, Daniel S. J.
  • Schnabel, Claus

Abstract

Using a large representative German data set and various concepts of self-employment, this paper tests the jack-of-all-trades view of entrepreneurship by Lazear (AER 2004). Consistent with its theoretical assumptions we find that self-employed individuals perform more tasks and that their work requires more skills than that of paid employees. In contrast to Lazear's assumptions, however, self-employed individuals do not just need more basic but also more expert skills than employees. Our results also provide only very limited support for the idea that human capital investment patterns differ between those who become self-employed and those ending up in paid employment. -- Unter Verwendung eines großen, repräsentativen Datensatzes für Deutschland und verschiedener Abgrenzungen der Selbständigkeit überprüft diese Arbeit die jack-of-all-trades-Sicht des Unternehmertums von Lazear (AER 2004). In Übereinstimmung mit ihren theoretischen Annahmen finden wir, dass Selbständige mehr verschiedene Tätigkeiten ausüben und Kenntnisse aus mehr verschiedenen Gebieten benötigen als nicht-selbständige Arbeitnehmer. Im Gegensatz zu Lazear's Annahmen benötigen Selbständige allerdings nicht nur mehr Grundkenntnisse sondern auch mehr Fachkenntnisse als Nicht-Selbständige. Unsere Ergebnisse liefern zudem nur wenig Unterstützung für die Behauptung, dass sich die Muster der Humankapitalaneignung zwischen Selbstständigen und abhängig beschäftigten Arbeitnehmern sichtbar unterscheiden.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Institut für Wirtschaftspolitik und Quantitative Wirtschaftsforschung (IWQW) in its series IWQW Discussion Paper Series with number 11/2011.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:112011

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Web page: http://www.iwqw.rw.uni-erlangen.de/
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Keywords: entrepreneurship; self-employed; Germany;

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