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Intergenerational correlation in self employment: some further evidence from French ECHP data

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  • Nathalie Colombier
  • David Masclet

Abstract

Previous empirical work has shown that self-employment is correlated across generations, so that the children of the self-employed are themselves more likely to be self-employed. However, the reason for this intergenerational correlation remains unclear. This paper contributes to the existing literature in two ways. First, using French data from the European Community Household Panel Survey, we provide a further examination of this intergenerational correlation among the self-employed. In particular we investigate to what extent the intergenerational correlation in self-employment reflects occupational following. The second contribution of our paper is to investigate the differences between first- and second-generation self-employed workers and their possible explanations. Even though our results indicate that having self-employed parents increases the probability of being self-employed, irrespective of occupation, we do observe that a large majority of individuals enter the same (or very similar) occupation as their parents, which is consistent with occupational following. Our results also reveal some differences between the first- and second-generation self-employed. Formal education is more important for the first-generation self-employed (those whose parents are not self-employed) than for the secondgeneration self-employed. Further, the firstgeneration self-employed, who received less informal human capital than the second-generation selfemployed, compensate for this shortcoming by acquiring more formal education.
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Suggested Citation

  • Nathalie Colombier & David Masclet, 2008. "Intergenerational correlation in self employment: some further evidence from French ECHP data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 423-437, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:423-437
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-007-9059-9
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employment; Intergenerational Correlation; Social Environment; Human Capital; J20; J21; J23; J24; L26;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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