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Who are the Entrepreneurs? Evidence from Taxpayer Data


  • Donald Bruce

    (University of Tennessee)

  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin

    (Syracuse University)


The United States has experienced a revival of interest in entrepreneurs. While much of the public fascination has focused on "dot com" millionaires and similar high-profile phenomena, a coincident surge in research has focused on the economic foundations of this boom. In executing their research strategy, analysts are confronted with the interrelated issues of deciding "who is an entrepreneur" and identifying data sources suitable to analyze retrepreneurial behavior. In many instances, the focus has been on those individuals who identify themselves as self-employed in large cross-sectional data sets like the Census or Current Population Survey (CPS), or panel data sets such as the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), National Longitudinal Survey (NLS), or Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Bruce & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 2002. "Who are the Entrepreneurs? Evidence from Taxpayer Data," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 7(1), pages 1-10, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:pep:journl:v:7:y:2002:i:1:p:1-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
    2. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
    3. Devine, Theresa J, 1994. "Changes in Wage-and-Salary Returns to Skill and the Recent Rise in Female Self-Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 108-113, May.
    4. Schuetze, Herb J., 2000. "Taxes, economic conditions and recent trends in male self-employment: a Canada-US comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 507-544, September.
    5. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Taxpayer; Entrepreneur;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups


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