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Where are all the self-employed women? Push and pull factors influencing female labor market decisions

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  • Carlianne Patrick

    () (Georgia State University)

  • Heather Stephens

    () (West Virginia University)

  • Amanda Weinstein

    () (University of Akron)

Abstract

Abstract Previous research focuses on factors that influence self-employment participation, in part because entrepreneurship has been associated with economic growth. This literature has tended to focus only on men or the comparison of women to men, while ignoring substantial heterogeneity in employment decisions among women. By investigating the impact of individual, household, and local economic and cultural characteristics on the labor market outcomes of different groups of women, we get a more comprehensive picture of their self-employment decision. Recognizing self-employment as one of multiple labor market choices, we use multinomial logit and two confidential, geocoded micro-level datasets to study women`s career choices in urban areas. We find that the effects of various push and pull factors differ between married and unmarried women. In particular, more progressive gender attitudes pull married women into self-employment, while household burdens associated with children push them into self-employment. For unmarried women, the local business climate and individual characteristics have the strongest influence. In both cases, the motivations for women are quite different than men.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlianne Patrick & Heather Stephens & Amanda Weinstein, 2016. "Where are all the self-employed women? Push and pull factors influencing female labor market decisions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 365-390, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:46:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-015-9697-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-015-9697-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:sbusec:v:51:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-018-9987-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Cai, Zhengyu & Stephens, Heather M. & Winters, John V., 2019. "Motherhood, Migration, and Self-Employment of College Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 12147, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. repec:kap:sbusec:v:51:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9925-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cai, Zhengyu & Winters, John V., 2017. "Self-employment differentials among foreign-born STEM and non-STEM workers," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 371-384.
    5. repec:kap:jfamec:v:39:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s10834-018-9575-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:spr:qualqt:v:53:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11135-018-0796-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:trapol:v:73:y:2019:i:c:p:101-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9793-y is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Tessa Conroy & Stephan Weiler, 2016. "Does gender matter for job creation? Business ownership and employment growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 397-419, August.

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