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Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality

  • Lindh, Thomas
  • Ohlsson, Henry

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.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income & Wealth.

Volume (Year): 44 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 25-42

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:44:y:1998:i:1:p:25-42
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  1. Holtz-Eakin, D. & Joulfaian, D. & Rosen, H.S., 1992. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," Papers 129, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  2. de Wit, Gerrit, 1993. " Models of Self-Employment in a Competitive Market," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 367-97, December.
  3. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
  4. Anders Bjorklund & Richard B. Freeman, 1994. "Generating Equality and Eliminating Poverty, The Swedish Way," NBER Working Papers 4945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1991. "Risk-Bearing and the Theory of Income Distribution," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 211-35, April.
  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. 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.
  9. 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 513-40.
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