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Self-employment of older Americans: do recessions matter?

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  • Amelia Biehl

    ()

  • Tami Gurley-Calvez

    ()

  • Brian Hill

    ()

Abstract

As high unemployment rates linger following the latest recession, job opportunities can be sparse, especially for older workers. This might prompt older Americans to seek out opportunities in self-employment. Alternatively, recession-related decreases in economic activity might make self-employment less attractive. Using the Health and Retirement Study, we find that unemployed respondents are more likely to enter self-employment and that these decisions are clearly affected by recessions, although the effects differ by recession and gender. Unlike men, women’s self-employment decisions are very sensitive to other sources of household income, and women are less likely to become self-employed the deeper the recession. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Amelia Biehl & Tami Gurley-Calvez & Brian Hill, 2014. "Self-employment of older Americans: do recessions matter?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 297-309, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:42:y:2014:i:2:p:297-309
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-013-9479-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:spr:blkpoe:v:44:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12114-017-9249-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Silke Tegtmeier & Agnieszka Kurczewska & Jantje Halberstadt, 2016. "Are women graduates jacquelines-of-all-trades? Challenging Lazear’s view on entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 77-94, June.
    3. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    4. Shanthi Ramnath & John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2017. "Pathways to Retirement through Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 23551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Marios Michaelides & Scott Davis, 2016. "From unemployment to self-employment: the role of entrepreneurship training," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 09-2016, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    6. Henley, Andrew, 2015. "The Post Crisis Growth in the Self-Employed: Volunteers or Reluctant Recruits?," IZA Discussion Papers 9232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Recession; Older Americans; Economics of gender; Unemployment; L26; J14; J16;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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