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Self-Employment in Chile, long run trends and education and age structures changes

  • Esteban Puentes
  • Dante Contreras
  • Claudia Sanhueza


This paper studies long-term trends of self-employment in Chile. Self-employment is associated with poor job conditions, vulnerability, and instability or informal labor market. Contrary to what is expected, self- employment level does not respond to macroeconomic variables. Using forty-one cross sections of the longest Employment Survey available, we show that there is little correlation of the economic cycle with variations in self-employment. Cohort effects are also unimportant. In fact, age is the most important predictor of self- employment; older people are more likely to be self-employed. In addition, we performed a decomposition of changes in self-employment on changes in coefficients, which are a measure of the returns to individual characteristics, and on changes in characteristics. The results indicate that self-employment should have decreased given the changes in individual characteristics, but was prevented by changes in coefficients. We also find indirect evidence that these changes i

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Article provided by University of Chile, Department of Economics in its journal Estudios de Economia.

Volume (Year): 34 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 Year 2007 (December)
Pages: 203-247

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Handle: RePEc:udc:esteco:v:34:y:2007:i:2:p:203-247
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  1. Ricardo Caballero G. & Eduardo Engel G. & Alejandro Micco A., 2004. "Microeconomic Flexibility in Latin America," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 7(2), pages 5-26, August.
  2. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "Decomposing Differences in the First Moment," IZA Discussion Papers 877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 2000. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact on Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover: The Case of Peru," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 43058, Inter-American Development Bank.
  4. Sebastian Edwards & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2002. "Social Security Privatization Reform and Labor Markets: The Case of Chile," NBER Working Papers 8924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carmen Pagés & Claudio E. Montenegro, 1999. "Job Security and the Age-Composition of Employment: Evidence from Chile," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4118, Inter-American Development Bank.
  6. Sebastian Edwards & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2000. "Economic reforms and labour markets: policy issues and lessons from Chile," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 181-230, 04.
  7. James J. Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 7773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2000. "The Cost of Job Security Regulation: Evidence from Latin American Labor Markets," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2000), pages 109-154, August.
  9. Jorge E. Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R., 2005. "Labor Markets and Institutions: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 1, pages 001-016 Central Bank of Chile.
  10. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina, 2004. "Determinants and Poverty Implications of Informal Sector Work in Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 347-68, January.
  11. Sebastian Edwards & Daniel Lederman, 1998. "The Political Economy of Unilateral Trade Liberalization: The Case of Chile," NBER Working Papers 6510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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