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Self-employed or employee, full-time or part-time? Gender differences in the determinants and conditions for self-employment in Europe and the US

Listed author(s):
  • Henning Lohmann

Recent research on self-employment has emphasised the specific dynamic of the rise of female entrepreneurship. But self-employment is still predominated by men. Only about 25-30% of the self-employed are women and the female self-employment rate is often only half as high as the male self-employment rate. This ratio is rather similar and persisting in most European countries although self-employment is discussed as an attractive option of female labour since it is characterised by a high degree of autonomy and flexibility. In order to assess the flexibility which self-employment might offer, the paper regards the determinants and conditions for self-employment emphasising the differences between part-time and full-time work. The empirical analysis is based on the Labour Force Surveys from five European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK) and the Current Population Survey from the US. The comparison investigates how the institutional framework, which is set by welfare state provisions to combine family and work, influences the assumed link between need for flexibility and self-employment. The results show that in fact self-employment seems to offer more flexibility to combine family and work, but also, that there is variation between countries with different institutional settings

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Paper provided by MZES in its series MZES Working Papers with number 38.

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Date of creation: 11 Oct 2001
Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0015
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  1. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
  2. Janet C. Gornick & Jerry A. Jacobs, 1996. "A Cross-National Analysis of the Wages of Part-Time Workers: Evidence from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-27, March.
  3. Lombard, Karen V, 2001. "Female Self-Employment and Demand for Flexible, Nonstandard Work Schedules," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 214-237, April.
  4. Boden, Richard Jr., 1996. "Gender and self-employment selection: An empirical assessment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 671-682.
  5. Catherine Hakim, 1988. "Self-Employment in Britain: Recent Trends and Current Issues," Work, Employment & Society, British Sociological Association, vol. 2(4), pages 421-450, December.
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