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Entrepreneurship in the UK

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  • Blanchflower, David G.
  • Shadforth, Chris

Abstract

This paper examines the causes and consequences of changes in the incidence of entrepreneurship in the UK. Self-employment as a proportion of total employment is high by international standards in the UK, but the share has fluctuated over time. We examine the time series movements in self-employment, which are principally driven by financial liberalization and changes in taxation rules, especially as they relate to the construction sector which is the dominant sector. We document that the median earnings of the self-employed is less than for employees. We show that in comparison with employees the self-employed are more likely to be males; immigrants; work in construction or financial activities; hold an apprenticeship; work in London; work long hours; have high levels of job satisfaction and happiness. Consistent with the existence of capital constraints on potential and actual entrepreneurs, the estimates imply that the probability of self-employment depends positively upon whether the individual ever received an inheritance or gift. Evidence is also found that rising house prices have increased the self-employment rate. There appears to be no evidence that changes in self-employment are correlated with changes in real GDP, nor national happiness.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanchflower, David G. & Shadforth, Chris, 2007. "Entrepreneurship in the UK," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 257-364, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000017
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/0300000017
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bracke, Philippe & Hilber, Christian A.L. & Silva, Olmo, 2018. "Mortgage debt and entrepreneurship," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 52-66.
    2. Ken Clark & Stephen Drinkwater, 2010. "Patterns of ethnic self-employment in time and space: evidence from British Census microdata," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 323-338, April.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Bryson, Alex, 2008. "Union decline in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19603, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Feldmann, Horst, 2012. "Banking deregulation around the world, 1970s to 2000s: The impact on unemployment," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 26-42.
    5. Hansson, Åsa, 2008. "Income taxes and the probability to become self-employed: The case of Sweden," Ratio Working Papers 122, The Ratio Institute.
    6. Blanchflower, David G., 2007. "Entrepreneurship in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1990. "What Makes A Young Entrepreneur?," Papers 373, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
    8. Faggio, Giulia & Silva, Olmo, 2014. "Self-employment and entrepreneurship in urban and rural labour markets," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 67-85.
    9. David G. Blanchflower, 2007. "Is Unemployment More Costly Than Inflation?," NBER Working Papers 13505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. DavidG. Blanchflower & Chris Shadforth, 2009. "Fear, Unemployment and Migration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(535), pages 136-182, February.
    11. David Blanchflower, 2009. "Minority self-employment in the United States and the impact of affirmative action programs," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 361-396, June.
    12. Åstebro, Thomas & Chen, Jing, 2014. "The entrepreneurial earnings puzzle: Mismeasurement or real?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 88-105.
    13. Leitão, João & Franco, Mário, 2008. "Individual Entrepreneurship Capacity and Performance of SMEs," MPRA Paper 8179, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 09 Apr 2008.
    14. Saridakis, George & Marlow, Susan & Storey, David J., 2014. "Do different factors explain male and female self-employment rates?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 345-362.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employment; Labour Force Survey; Times series;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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