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Self-Employment and Parenthood: Exploring the Impact of Partners, Children and Gender

  • Aidis, Ruta


    (University College London)

  • Wetzels, Cécile


    (University of Amsterdam)

This paper explores the relationship between self-employment, partner’s employment, the household and children on a mother’s and father’s probability to choose self-employment. Few studies are available on this topic and their analysis is mainly limited to the female role in the North American context. In this study, we examine the influence of personal characteristics, household and labor market characteristics for both mothers and fathers in a family context and their probability to be self-employed as compared to parents who have chosen formal, gainful employment. We focus on the data from the European context comparing results from Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. Using these large and comparable data sets, our logit model estimates show that mothers who choose self-employment do not work fewer working hours than those in gainful employment. Similar results were found for fathers in Spain and Italy. Perhaps the most striking result is the very strong significance of the partner’s self-employed status on the choice for self-employment for both mothers and fathers in all three countries. Other effects such as human capital, household income, presence of grandmothers and number of young children indicate country differences.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2813.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2813
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  1. Frederic Delmar & Per Davidsson, 2000. "Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, January.
  2. Holly Buttner, E., 1993. "Female entrepreneurs: How far have they come?," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 59-65.
  3. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
  4. Henrekson, Magnus & Du Rietz, Anita, 1999. "Testing the Female Underperformance Hypothesis," Working Paper Series 521, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  5. Orley Ashenfelter & James Heckman, 1971. "The Estimation of Income and Substitution Effects in a Model of Family Labor Supply," Working Papers 402, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Susan Marlow, 1997. "Self--employed women — new opportunities, old challenges?," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 199-210, January.
  7. DeMartino, Richard & Barbato, Robert, 2003. "Differences between women and men MBA entrepreneurs: exploring family flexibility and wealth creation as career motivators," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 815-832, November.
  8. Cecile Wetzels, 2005. "Supply and Price of Childcare and Female Labour Force Participation in the Netherlands," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 171-209, December.
  9. Rachel Connelly, 1992. "Self-employment and providing child care," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 17-29, February.
  10. Lerner, Miri & Brush, Candida & Hisrich, Robert, 1997. "Israeli women entrepreneurs: An examination of factors affecting performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 315-339, July.
  11. Garcia-Mainar, Inmaculada & Montuenga-Gomez, Victor M., 2005. "Education returns of wage earners and self-employed workers: Portugal vs. Spain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 161-170, April.
  12. Daniela del Boca & Marilena Locatelli & Silvia Pasqua, 2000. "Employment Decisions of Married Women: Evidence and Explanations," CHILD Working Papers wp08_00, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  13. David Blau & Philip Robins, 1989. "Fertility, Employment, and Child-Care Costs," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 287-299, May.
  14. Blanchflower, David G & Meyer, Bruce D, 1994. " A Longitudinal Analysis of the Young Self-Employed in Australia and the United States," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19, February.
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