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Self-employment in urban China: Networking in a transition economy

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  • YUEH, Linda

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between self-employment and social networks in urban China, an economy rife with informational and institutional imperfections, under-developed financial markets, but a growing and important non-state sector. Having a social network can help the self-employed access supply and credit networks, and assist in navigating an uncertain institutional environment where permissions and licenses often require inter-personal relationships to facilitate and reduce the informational costs of enforcement by dealing with known persons. Thus, holding other productive and observable traits constant including attitude toward risk where possible, social networks are expected to be a significant correlate to self-employment which is borne out by the evidence. Examining three tranches of the self-employed (those who are self-employed, those who are self-employed as a second job, and a sub-sample who have experienced unemployment and then became self-employed), the paper finds that social networks significantly predict self-employment except for those who are working for themselves as a second job. Gender differences are also notable.

Suggested Citation

  • YUEH, Linda, 2009. "Self-employment in urban China: Networking in a transition economy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 471-484, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:3:p:471-484
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    Cited by:

    1. Zheng, Liang & Zhao, Zhong, 2017. "What drives spatial clusters of entrepreneurship in China? Evidence from economic census data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 229-248.
    2. Wang, Ruixin, 2015. "Essays on development economics and public economics," Other publications TiSEM e1779514-5b71-4726-925b-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Junfu Zhang & Zhong Zhao, 2015. "Social-family network and self-employment: evidence from temporary rural–urban migrants in China," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-21, December.
    4. Zhou, Yexin & Chen, Mo & Ye, Jingyi, 2014. "Self-employment Choices of Rural Migrants in China: Distance and Social Network," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2014-31, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
    5. Cui, Yuling & Nahm, Daehoon & Tani, Massimiliano, 2013. "Self-Employment in China: Are Rural Migrant Workers and Urban Residents Alike?," IZA Discussion Papers 7191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Cathy Yang Liu & Xi Huang, 2016. "The Rise of Urban Entrepreneurs in China: Capital Endowments and Entry Dynamics," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 32-52, March.
    7. Zhiming Cheng, 2014. "Layoffs and Urban Poverty in the State-Owned Enterprise Communities in Shaanxi Province, China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 199-233, March.

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