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The Relationship between Business Ownership and Unemployment in Spain: A Matter of Quantity or Quality?/La relación entre el autoempleo y el desempleo en España: Una cuestión de cantidad o de calidad?

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  • VERHEUL, INGRID

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Tel.: 31104081422.EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer.)

  • VAN STEL, ANDRÉ

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam. EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer. Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena.)

  • THURIK , ROY

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam. EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer. Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena.)

  • URBANO, DAVID

    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.)

Abstract

This paper examines the interrelations between self-employment and unemployment rates for Spain in the period 1972-2004, comparing them with the general pattern observed for OECD countries. We apply the model as proposed by Audretsch, Carree, van Stel and Thurik (2005) to Spain. The divergence between predicted and actual unemployment levels in Spain are explained by countryspecific shocks in the period under study, which are outside the scope of the model. This indicates that the general mechanism of employment generation by the selfemployed may also be applicable to Spain, at least in the long run. The Spanish industrial structure is characterized by a relatively high and fluctuating unemployment level and a relatively high and stable business ownership rate, suggesting that the quantity of business ownership in Spain does not have a particularly large contribution to bringing down unemployment. In recent years we see that the unemployment rate decreases and stabilizes. We argue that, in addition to several labor market reforms, an increase in the quality of business ownership in Spain may also have contributed to the recent decrease in the unemployment rate. Este trabajo analiza la relación entre el autoempleo y las tasas de desempleo en España para el periodo 1972-2004, comparando los resultados obtenidos con el patrón general observado en los países de la OCDE. El estudio utiliza el modelo propuesto por Audretsch, Carree, van Stel y Thurik (2005) para el caso de España. Las diferencias entre los niveles de desempleo estimado y real en España se explican fundamentalmente por características específicas de la economía española para el periodo considerado, las cuales quedan fuera del alcance del modelo utilizado. Así pues, el mecanismo general de la generación de empleo a través del autoempleo puede ser aplicable para España, al menos en lo referente al largo plazo. En términos generales, la estructura industrial española se caracteriza por un lado, por un nivel de desempleo relativamente elevado y fluctuante, y por otro, por unas tasas relativamente elevadas y estables de autoempleo, sugiriendo que la cantidad de autoempleo en España no contribuye de forma relevante a la reducción del desempleo. De todas formas, se observa que en los últimos años la tasa de desempleo ha disminuido a la vez que estabilizado. En este sentido, en el presente estudio se argumenta que, adicionalmente a las distintas reformas producidas en el mercado de trabajo español, dicha reducción del desempleo viene explicada por un aumento en la calidad del autoempleo.

Suggested Citation

  • Verheul, Ingrid & Van Stel, André & Thurik , Roy & Urbano, David, 2006. "The Relationship between Business Ownership and Unemployment in Spain: A Matter of Quantity or Quality?/La relación entre el autoempleo y el desempleo en España: Una cuestión de cantidad o de calidad?," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 24, pages 435-457, Agosto.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:24_2_5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; Unemployment; Economic Growth; Spain/Creación de empresas; Autoempleo; Desempleo; Paro; crecimiento económico; España.;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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