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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

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  • Henning Lohmann

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Henning Lohmann, 2001. "Self-employed or employee, full-time or part-time? Gender differences in the determinants and conditions for self-employment in Europe and the US," MZES Working Papers 38, MZES.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Block, Joern & Kohn, Karsten, 2011. "Sozialpolitische Ziele der Gründungsförderung am Beispiel von Gründungen aus der Arbeitslosigkeit
      [Social policy as a motivation for start-up subsidies: supporting start-ups out of unemployment]
      ," MPRA Paper 30775, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Joachim Wagner, 2007. "What a Difference a Y makes-Female and Male Nascent Entrepreneurs in Germany," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 1-21, January.
    3. Anna Kim & Karin Kurz, 2001. "Precarious Employment, Education and Gender: A comparison of Germany and the United Kingdom," MZES Working Papers 39, MZES.
    4. Robert Fairlie & Alicia Robb, 2009. "Gender differences in business performance: evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 375-395, December.
    5. Uwe Dulleck & Paul Frijters & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2006. "Reducing Start-up Costs for New Firms: The Double Dividend on the Labor Market," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(2), pages 317-337, July.
    6. Furdas, Marina & Kohn, Karsten, 2010. "What's the Difference?! Gender, Personality, and the Propensity to Start a Business," IZA Discussion Papers 4778, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Amelie F. Constant, 2009. "Businesswomen in Germany and their performance by ethnicity: It pays to be self-employed," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(1/2), pages 145-162, March.
    8. Constant, Amelie F., 2004. "Immigrant versus Native Businesswomen: Proclivity and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1234, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Tüzin Baycan-Levent & Peter Nijkamp, 2011. "Migrant Female Entrepreneurship: Driving Forces, Motivation and Performance," Chapters,in: New Directions in Regional Economic Development, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Gottschall, Karin & Kroos, Daniela, 2003. "Self-employment in Germany and the UK: Labor market regulation, risk-management and gender in comparative perspective," Working papers of the ZeS 13/2003, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
    11. Amelie Constant, 2006. "Female Proclivity to the World of Business," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 465-480, November.
    12. Betzelt, Sigrid, 2002. "Soziale Sicherung 'neuer' Selbständiger: Reformperspektiven im Spiegel europäischer Nachbarstaaten," Working papers of the ZeS 10/2002, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).

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    Keywords

    employment policy; France; gender policy; Germany; Italy; Sweden; U.K.; welfare state;

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