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Why leave wage work and become self-employed ? Independence, earnings or unemployment

  • Tattara, Giuseppe
  • Volpe, Mario

The paper addresses the problem of the relation between self-employment and employee status. The issue is whether self-employment is a form of disguised unemployment or a suitable long term form of employment towards which gravitate the most successful wage-workers: wage-workers attracted by an activity that is more independent and more apt to bring their personality to the foreground. The paper focuses on a detailed study of previous experience as an employee (entrance, duration, mobility, status, firm’s size) to evaluate this point. Individuals enter self-employment for the first time at a very young age, and the choice is the result of a period of high mobility, unemployment and inactivity after the first entrance into the labour market as an employee. Self-employment does not seem to be bound by a liquidity constraint or by the need to accumulate assets in order to start a viable businesses, the usual reasons brought about to explain deferred entry, or by the time necessary to discover a viable business opportunity: it is directly linked to movements in wage employment and represents a temporary solution to face an unattended negative shock.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10780/1/MPRA_paper_10780.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 10780.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:10780
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  1. Magnac, Thierry & Robin, Jean-Marc, 1994. "An econometric analysis of labour market transitions using discrete and tenure data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 327-346, September.
  2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-79, June.
  3. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. Carroll, Glenn R. & Mosakowski, Elaine M., 1987. "The Career Dynamics of Self-Employment," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt13p1n10b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  6. Andrew M. Yuengert, 1995. "Testing Hypotheses of Immigrant Self-Employment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 194-204.
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