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Self-Employment Trends and Patterns Among Older U.S. Workers

  • Lynn A. Karoly
  • Julie Zissmopoulos
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    Although self-employment is an important labor force phenomenon at older ages, there is a paucity of studies that examine the patterns of self-employment among older U.S. workers. With the leading edge of the baby boom cohort reaching retirement years, the rising rates of self-employment with age suggest that it is important to have a solid understanding of who is self-employed at older ages and how patterns of self-employment may be changing over time. Using cross-sectional time-series data from the annual Current Population Survey from 1968 to 2002 and cross-sectional data from the Health and Retirement Study from 1998, the authors examine the trend in rates of self-employment among workers age 50 and above. They describe the characteristics of older self-employed workers, in total and for subgroups, and compare them with their wage and salary counterparts.

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    File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2004/RAND_WR136.pdf
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    Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 136.

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    Length: 52 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:136
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    1. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "The Ethnic and Racial Character of Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 4791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
    3. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    4. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. "Latent entrepreneurship across nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 680-691, May.
    5. Yannis Georgellis & Howard J. Wall, 2000. "Who are the self-employed?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 15-24.
    6. Genda, Yuji & Kambayashi, Ryo, 2002. "Declining Self-Employment in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 73-91, March.
    7. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
    8. Steven Haider & David Loughran, 2001. "Elderly Labor Supply: Work or Play?," Working Papers 01-09, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    9. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-67, June.
    10. David Blanchflower & A Oswald, 1993. "Entrepreneurship," CEP Discussion Papers dp0134, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. David G. Blanchflower, 2000. "Self-Employment in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 7486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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