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Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males (Revised)

  • Victor R. Fuchs

This longitudinal analysis of the labor market behavior of older, urban white males in 1969, 1971, and 1973 focuses on changes from wage-and-salary to self-employment and changes from working to non-working status. In each two-year transition approximately four percent of wage-and-salary workers switched to self-employment. They were primarily men who were previously self-employed or who were in wage-and-salary occupations with characteristics similar to self-employment, e.g., managers and salesmen. For a blue collar worker employed forty hours per week the predicted probability of switching was close to zero. Controlling for a large number of economic and demographic variables, the self-employed were significantly more likely to continue to work, partly by reducing their workweek to under 35 hours. Other significant predictors of continuing to work are good health, years of schooling, white collar occupation, no expectation of a private pension, and a workweek longer than fifty hours. Age is also important, especially at the eligibility ages set by social security.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0584.

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Date of creation: Nov 1980
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Fuchs, Victor R. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," The Journal of Human Resources, Vol. XVII, No. 3 (Summer 1982), pp. 3 39-357.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0584
Note: LS
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  1. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  2. Paul J. Taubman & Sherwin Rosen, 1980. "Healthiness, Education, and Marital Status," NBER Working Papers 0611, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roger H. Gordon & Alan S. Blinder, 1980. "Market Wages, Reservation Wages, and Retirement Decisions," NBER Working Papers 0513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Joseph F. Quinn, 1977. "Microeconomic Determinants of Early Retirement: A Cross-Sectional View of White Married Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(3), pages 329-346.
  5. Boskin, Michael J, 1977. "Social Security and Retirement Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(1), pages 1-25, January.
  6. Boskin, Michael J. & Hurd, Michael D., 1978. "The effect of social security on early retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 361-377, December.
  7. Pellechio, Anthony J, 1979. "Social Security Financing and Retirement Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 284-87, May.
  8. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
  9. Burkhauser, Richard V & Turner, John A, 1978. "A Time-Series Analysis on Social Security and Its Effect on the Market Work of Men at Younger Ages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 701-15, August.
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