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Labor market transitions and self-employment

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  • Ellen R. Rissman

Abstract

The self-employed are a heterogeneous group. Some are self-employed because they are good at it, while others are self-employed because they cannot find a better paying salaried job. Data from the CPS for prime age males show that workers are almost twice as likely to enter self-employment from unemployment as from paid employment. Furthermore, almost 22% of workers exit self-employment within the year with most returning to paid employment. This paper develops a framework for examining transitions between the labor market states of unemployment, paid employment, and self-employment. The self-employed fall into two groups: those who continue to seek paid employment in the wage and salary sector and those whose value from self-employment exceeds the expected value from continued search. The calibrated model is used to examine the effects of business startup costs on labor market transition rates. Doubling startup costs has very little impact on these rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellen R. Rissman, 2007. "Labor market transitions and self-employment," Working Paper Series WP-07-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-07-14
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
    4. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
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    6. John J. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane, 2004. "Integrated Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 224-229, May.
    7. Ellen R. Rissman, 2003. "Self-employment as an alternative to unemployment," Working Paper Series WP-03-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    8. Robert Shimer, 2005. "The cyclicality of hires, separations, and job-to-job transitions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 493-508.
    9. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ronald S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Kristin Sandusky, 2009. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 329-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ellen R. Rissman, 2006. "The self-employment duration of younger men over the business cycle," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 14-27.
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    Cited by:

    1. Koffi Elitcha & Raquel Fonseca, 2016. "Self-Employment, Wealth and Start-up Costs: Evidence from a Financial Crisis," Cahiers de recherche 1607, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.
    2. Poschke, Markus, 2013. "The Decision to Become an Entrepreneur and the Firm Size Distribution: A Unifying Framework for Policy Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2014. "Self-employment and business cycle persistence: Does the composition of employment matter for economic recoveries?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 200-218.
    4. Román, Concepción & Congregado, Emilio & Millán, José María, 2013. "Start-up incentives: Entrepreneurship policy or active labour market programme?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 151-175.

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    Keywords

    Labor market ; Self-employed;

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