IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who are the Self-employed? A New Approach


  • Sarah Brown
  • Lisa Farrell
  • Mark N. Harris



Modelling the incidence of self-employment has traditionally proved problematic. Whilst the individual supply side characteristics of the self-employed are well documented, the literature has largely neglected (or misspecified) demand side aspects. In this paper we present results from an econometric framework that allows us to separately, and simultaneously, model the supply and demand side characteristics that determine employment outcomes. We show that whilst individual characteristics are important determinants of the type of employment contract that individuals hold, there are also important contract specific factors that influence the nature of the contract an individual is employed under. Our results suggest that workers may be "captive" to a particular type of employment because of the sector in which they work, the number of hours they prefer to work and their ethnicity. The results are based on a new estimator, the parameterised DOGEV model, which allows for ordering and correlation in the observed alternatives, and for captivity within an observed alternative.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Brown & Lisa Farrell & Mark N. Harris, 2003. "Who are the Self-employed? A New Approach," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 11/03, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:msh:ebswps:2003-11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Self-employment; captivity.;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General

    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:msh:ebswps:2003-11. 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: (Dr Xibin Zhang) or (Joanne Lustig). 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.