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The development of self-employment rate in the Netherlands 1899-1997


  • Sander Wennekers
  • Mickey Folkeringa


Recently a unique time series of the self-employment rate in the period 1899-1997 distinguishing three major sectors of industry was constructed for the Netherlands. It shows a continuous decline until the early 1980s and a revival thereafter. The role of changes in sectoral composition versus within-sector trends in explaining this development of self-employment was investigated through a shift-share analysis of these data. Overall, the evidence rejects a prime role of sector shifts. On the contrary, a deeply rooted process of upscaling followed by historically anomalous downscaling in almost all sectors of industry is the major proximate cause. This conclusion calls for a continued search for ultimate causes within the domains of technology, economics, institutions and culture.

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  • Sander Wennekers & Mickey Folkeringa, 2002. "The development of self-employment rate in the Netherlands 1899-1997," Scales Research Reports N200221, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:n200221

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    Cited by:

    1. Wennekers, Sander & van Stel, André & Carree, Martin & Thurik, Roy, 2010. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: Is It U-Shaped?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 167-237, July.

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