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Counting The Self-Employed From Two Perspectives: Household Vs. Business Sample Data


  • Alfred R Nucci
  • Richard J Boden


This study compares the number and attributes of self-employed workers using the Characteristics of Business Owners and Current Population Survey data series. Both sources of data have been widely used in empirical studies of entrepreneurship/self-employment. Substantial and inexplicable differences were found in the two data series' estimates of the number of self-employed men and women for both reference years. In terms of individual attributes, the CBO and CPS appear to report reasonably similar profiles of self-employed individuals in terms of marital status and geographic location, and similar systematic gender differences in the industrial distributions of these individuals. However, in terms of other attributes captured by both data series, including age, the two series exhibit notable dissimilarities.

Suggested Citation

  • Alfred R Nucci & Richard J Boden, 1995. "Counting The Self-Employed From Two Perspectives: Household Vs. Business Sample Data," Working Papers 95-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:95-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;


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