IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Employees Who Become Self-Employed: Do Labour Income and Wages Have an Impact?


  • Andersson Joona, Pernilla

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Wadensjö, Eskil

    () (Stockholm University)


This paper analyzes the self-employment decision among Swedish-born male employees. The main objective of the paper is to investigate the impact of the relation between the actual and the predicted income on the probability to become self-employed. The predicted income is calculated from a standard income regression with controls for age, education, family status, family background and place of residence. By construction of a ratio between the actual and the predicted income we identify three groups of employees: (1) employees who have an actual income lower than the predicted income (underpaid), (2) employees with an actual income close to the predicted one, and (3) employees with an actual income higher than the predicted one (overpaid). The first question is if individuals who are "overpaid" or "underpaid" are more likely to become self-employed than those who are paid as we can expect. Our main finding is that employees who receive an income that differs from the one predicted by the income regression are more likely to become self-employed. We also analyse the effect of the ratio on four different measures of success as self-employed: income from self-employment, number of employees, turnover of the firm, and the probability to have a firm registered as a limited liability company. The general conclusion is that those who performed well as employees are also more successful as self-employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2006. "Employees Who Become Self-Employed: Do Labour Income and Wages Have an Impact?," IZA Discussion Papers 1971, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1971

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martinez-Granado, Maite, 2002. "Self-Employment and Labour Market Transitions: A Multiple State Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3661, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Dolton, Peter J & Makepeace, G H, 1990. "Self Employment among Graduates," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 35-53, January.
    3. Thurik, A. Roy & Carree, Martin A. & van Stel, André & Audretsch, David B., 2008. "Does self-employment reduce unemployment?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 673-686, November.
    4. David G. Blanchflower, 2004. "Self-Employment: More may not be better," NBER Working Papers 10286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mats Hammarstedt, 2006. "The predicted earnings differential and immigrant self-employment in Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(6), pages 619-630.
    6. Yannis Georgellis & Howard Wall, 2005. "Gender differences in self-employment," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-342.
    7. Amelie Constant & Klaus Zimmermann, 2006. "The Making of Entrepreneurs in Germany: Are Native Men and Immigrants Alike?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 279-300, April.
    8. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
    9. Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Earnings, Independence or Unemployment: Why Become Self-Employed?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(2), pages 253-266, May.
    10. Edvard Johansson, 2000. "Self-employment and the predicted earnings differential - evidence from Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 45-55, Spring.
    11. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
    12. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, May.
    13. Rees, Hedley & Shah, Anup, 1986. "An Empirical Analysis of Self-employment in the U.K," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(1), pages 95-108, January.
    14. Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2004. "Self-Employed Immigrants in Denmark and Sweden: A Way to Economic Self-Reliance?," IZA Discussion Papers 1130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2008. "A Gender Perspective on Self-Employment Entry and Performance as Self-Employed," IZA Discussion Papers 3581, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hildebrand, Vincent A., 2008. "The Asset Portfolios of Native-Born and Foreign-Born Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    occupational mobility; occupational choice; labour income; self-employment; wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1971. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.