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Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality

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  • Lindh, Thomas
  • Ohlsson, Henry

Abstract

Is the decision to become and stay self-employed constrained by access to credit? If this is the case, a more unequal wealth distribution will--for empirically observed distributions--imply more self-employed, since the number of people able to provide collateral will be higher. Swedish data between 1920 and 1992 suggest that wealth inequality and the share of self-employed among those working are positively related. The data, therefore, are consistent with the hypothesis that liquidity constraints are binding on the decision to become and stay self-employed. Copyright 1998 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 25-42, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:44:y:1998:i:1:p:25-42
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1991. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 211-235.
    2. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
    3. de Wit, Gerrit, 1993. " Models of Self-Employment in a Competitive Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 367-397, December.
    4. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    5. David Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1990. "What Makes an Entrepreneur? Evidence on Inheritance and Capital Constraints," NBER Working Papers 3252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1997. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, the Swedish Way," NBER Chapters,in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 33-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Black, Jane & de Meza, David & Jeffreys, David, 1996. "House Price, the Supply of Collateral and the Enterprise Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 60-75, January.
    8. Van Praag, C Mirjam & Van Ophem, Hans, 1995. "Determinants of Willingness and Opportunity to Start as an Entrepreneur," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 513-540.
    9. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-1526, November.
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