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Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats

  • Bjuggren, Carl Magnus

    ()

    (Linköping University and Stockholm School of Economics/EHFF)

  • Johansson, Dan

    ()

    (The Ratio Institute)

  • Stenkula, Mikael

    ()

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Research on entrepreneurship has received an increased amount of interest in recent years, with self-employment being used as the most common proxy for “entrepreneurship” in empirical studies. However, there are various ways of defining selfemployment, making it a somewhat dubious proxy. This may flaw the analysis, especially in cross-country studies, since the documentation of data often is insufficient and difficult to access due to language barriers. We present an analysis of Swedish self-employment data. We show that the measurement of self-employment has changed over time to noticeably affect the reported number of self-employed in the two major statistical sources on self-employment. The reported development of self-employment sometimes differs diametrically depending on source. Sweden is occasionally erroneously reported to show the largest increase in selfemployment in cross-country studies. Our study mimics the results of other country-specific analyses and we conclude that well-grounded conclusions require that the advantages and disadvantages of different statistical sources are recognized.

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File URL: http://ratio.se/app/uploads/2014/11/cmb_dj_ms_selfemployment_154.pdf
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Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 154.

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Length: 15 pages
Date of creation: 15 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0154
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08-441 59 00
Fax: 08-441 59 29
Web page: http://www.ratio.se/
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  1. Carree, M. & van Stel, A. & Thurik, R. & Wennekers, S., 1998. "Business Ownership and Economic Growth: an Empirical Investigation," Papers 9809/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
  2. André van Stel, 2004. "COMPENDIA: Harmonizing business ownership data across countries and over time," Scales Research Reports N200413, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  3. André van Stel & Martin Carree, 2002. "Business ownership and sectoral growth," Scales Research Reports H200206, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  4. André van Stel, 2003. "COMPENDIA 2000.2: a harmonized data set of business ownership rates in 23 OECD countries," Scales Research Reports H200302, EIM Business and Policy Research.
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