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Does self-employment reduce unemployment?

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  • Thurik, A. Roy
  • Carree, Martin A.
  • van Stel, André
  • Audretsch, David B.

Abstract

This paper investigates the dynamic interrelationship between self-employment and unemployment rates. On the one hand, unemployment rates may stimulate start-up activity of self-employed. On the other hand, higher rates of self-employment may indicate increased entrepreneurial activity reducing unemployment in subsequent periods. These two effects have resulted in considerable ambiguities about the interrelationship between unemployment and entrepreneurial activity. This paper introduces a two-equation vector autoregression model capable of reconciling these ambiguities and tests it for data of 23 OECD countries over the period 1974-2002. The empirical results confirm the two distinct relationships between unemployment and self-employment, i.e. 'refugee' and 'entrepreneurial' effects. We also find that the 'entrepreneurial' effects are considerably stronger than the 'refugee' effects. An updated version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Business Venturing in 2008 (Volume 23, Issue 6, pp. 673-686).
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Suggested Citation

  • Thurik, A. Roy & Carree, Martin A. & van Stel, André & Audretsch, David B., 2008. "Does self-employment reduce unemployment?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 673-686, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:23:y:2008:i:6:p:673-686
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L53 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Enterprise Policy
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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