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Only the lonely?: the influence of spouse on the transition to self-employment

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  • Özcan, Berkay

Abstract

Previous research showed that married individuals are overrepresented among the self-employed. Few studies proposed skill-spillover between the spouses within the marriage as an explanation. This paper deviates from the previous research by exploring different relationship contexts (e.g., cohabitation, being married or divorced, a widow(er) or single) and the role of partner influences under these contexts. It argues that the interaction between gender and relationship status implies variation in not only resources but also constraints, and hence sorts individuals into two different types of self-employment: entrepreneurial self-employment (i.e., incorporated business) and unincorporated self-employment. Using “Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) 1965–2005” data, results of the competing risk models show that marital status contributes to both types of self-employment transitions, especially for men, but also for women. Cohabitation is a less supportive context for entrepreneurship and a partner’s self-employment experience increases only women’s likelihood of entering into entrepreneurship. These results suggest that skill-spillover between partners might be context dependent and only in one direction (from men to women).

Suggested Citation

  • Özcan, Berkay, 2011. "Only the lonely?: the influence of spouse on the transition to self-employment," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 38479, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:38479
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38479/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gregory D. Hess, 2004. "Marriage and Consumption Insurance: What's Love Got to Do with It?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 290-318, April.
    2. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
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    4. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1998. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(2), pages 251-299.
    5. Parker, Simon C., 2008. "Entrepreneurship among married couples in the United States: A simultaneous probit approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 459-481, June.
    6. Greg Duncan & Saul Hoffman, 1985. "A reconsideration of the economic consequences of marital dissolution," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 22(4), pages 485-497, November.
    7. Carroll, Glenn R. & Mosakowski, Elaine M., 1987. "The Career Dynamics of Self-Employment," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt13p1n10b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    8. Blanchflower, David G., 2007. "Entrepreneurship in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
    10. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gumus, Gulcin & Regan, Tracy L., 2015. "Self-employment and the role of health insurance in the U.S," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 357-374.
    2. Jonas Debrulle, 2016. "The Role of Entrepreneurship in the Context of Career Trajectories: Moving Back into Wage Employment or into Unemployment?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 30(2), pages 180-197, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ISI; entrepreneurship; gender; occupation choice; family; marriage; cohabitation;

    JEL classification:

    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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