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Self-employment in Denmark and Spain: Institution, Economic Conditions and Gender differences


  • Raquel Carrasco

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Mette Ejrnæs

    (Institute of Economics, University of Copenhagen)


Among the OECD countries, Spain faces one of the highest rates of self-employment and Denmark one of the lowest, being the difference specially relevant among women. These two countries present important differences in their institutional environment and labour market conditions: the level of labour market flexibility and the importance of parttime employment, the generosity of the unemployment benefit systems, and the role of the child care policies, among others. In this paper we compare the Danish and Spanish labour markets and analyze to what extent the different evolution of female and male self-employment rates are influenced by country-specific employment conditions. This study is carried out for men and women separately using a strictly comparable panel data set for the two countries. The results indicate that in Spain self-employment seems to offer individuals who normally are considered as marginalized in the labour market a beneficial alternative to wage employment, while this pattern is not so clear in Denmark. Our analysis suggests that an important factor in explaining the difference in Danish and Spanish self-employment rates is the different employment environment that both countries face.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Carrasco & Mette Ejrnæs, 2003. "Self-employment in Denmark and Spain: Institution, Economic Conditions and Gender differences," CAM Working Papers 2003-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2003_06

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitris Christelis & Raquel Fonseca, 2015. "Labor Market Policies and Self-Employment Transitions of Older Workers," Cahiers de recherche 1516, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.
    2. Gema Álvarez & Carlos Gradín & Mª Soledad Otero, 2013. "Self-Employment: Transition And Earnings Differential," Revista de Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Estructura Economica y Economia Publica, vol. 21(2), pages 61-90, Autumn.
    3. Mika Haapanen & Hannu Tervo, 2009. "Self-employment duration in urban and rural locations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(19), pages 2449-2461.
    4. Hannu Tervo, 2004. "Self-employment dynamics in rural and urban labour markets," ERSA conference papers ersa04p396, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Mette Ejrnæs & Stefan Hochguertel, 2008. "Entrepreneurial Moral Hazard in Income Insurance: Empirical Evidence from a Large Administrative Sample," CAM Working Papers 2008-02, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    6. Gema Álvarez & Carlos Gradín & M. Soledad Otero, 2009. "Self-employment in Spain: Transition and earnings differential," Working Papers 0907, Universidade de Vigo, Departamento de Economía Aplicada.
    7. Anu Tokila & Hannu Tervo, 2011. "Regional differences in returns to education for entrepreneurs versus wage earners," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 689-710, December.
    8. Fabio Monteforte, 2015. "Structural Transformation, the Push-Pull Hypothesis and the Labour Market," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 15/654, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 01 Dec 2017.

    More about this item


    self-employment; transitions; gender differences;

    JEL classification:

    • E64 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Incomes Policy; Price Policy
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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