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The Presence of Self-Employed People in Belgian Politics


  • Bram Wauters
  • Johan Lambrecht


It is, first of all, argued in this article that the self-employed constitute a professional category for which the descriptive representation in politics does make a difference. Parallels with the representation of women and ethnic minorities are drawn. Next, it is investigated whether the political presence of self-employed is low in Belgium. We do find that self-employed are not underrepresented in Belgian Parliament in comparison with their share in the population nor compared with other European countries. Moreover, self-employed do not serve for a shorter period of time nor do they belong less to government parties. As for the entrepreneurs in Parliament, there has not been a decline. There has been, however, a decrease in the percentage of free and intellectual professions owing to processes of democratization, only slightly counter-balanced by processes of professionalisation. This downward trend can also be found in government, and also for entrepreneurs in government.

Suggested Citation

  • Bram Wauters & Johan Lambrecht, 2009. "The Presence of Self-Employed People in Belgian Politics," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(1), pages 82-104.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:revbec:20090105

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    More about this item


    representation; elections; Parliament; self-employed; employers’organisations;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government


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