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'Involuntary self-employment' in Finland: a bleak future?


  • Teemu Kautonen
  • Jenni Palmroos
  • Pekka Vainio


'Involuntary self-employment' has recently received considerable political and media attention in Finland. The notion of involuntary self-employment has been used to refer to situations where an employer seeks increased flexibility and cost efficiency by 'pushing' former employees into new forms of precarious self-employment. Although the terminology used varies, the phenomenon itself is known across Europe. However, little empirical evidence exists as to the characteristics and scope of involuntary self-employment. This paper addresses this research gap by defining five characteristics of involuntary self-employment and, based on these, analysing survey data from 850 Finnish small firms to explore its scope. The results show that the phenomenon is marginal in relation to the Finnish small business population as a whole. Hence, it seems to exist at most in certain sectoral niches that are small enough to remain 'hidden' in broad cross-sectoral samplings.

Suggested Citation

  • Teemu Kautonen & Jenni Palmroos & Pekka Vainio, 2009. "'Involuntary self-employment' in Finland: a bleak future?," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(6), pages 533-548.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijpubp:v:4:y:2009:i:6:p:533-548

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