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Self-Employment and Labor Market Policies



We develop a model of self-employment in the search and matching frame-work of Mortensen and Pissarides. We integrate two strands of theoretical literature: models of self-employment and models of unemployment. Our model explains many empirical findings which are not explained by the existing models of self-employment. In our model, higher minimum wage and unemployment benefits have negative effect on self-employment. These results are supported by empirical evidence. In addition, in our model self-employed earn less, on average, than wage employed workers in equilibrium due to frictions in the labor market. Thus our model provides a novel explanation to one of the key puzzles identified in the empirical literature. We also find that a higher business tax and a lower wage tax reduce self-employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Alok Kumar & Herbert J. Schuetze, 2007. "Self-Employment and Labor Market Policies," Department Discussion Papers 0704, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  • Handle: RePEc:vic:vicddp:0704
    Note: ISSN 1914-2838

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    Cited by:

    1. Alan Finkelstein-Shapiro & Miguel Sarzosa, 2012. "Unemployement Protection for Informal Workers in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4542, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. repec:nea:journl:y:2017:i:33:p:12-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2014. "Self-employment and business cycle persistence: Does the composition of employment matter for economic recoveries?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 200-218.

    More about this item


    Self-employment; occupational choice; unemployment; search and matching; wage tax; business tax; minimum wage; unemployment benefits; job-creation;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J58 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Public Policy
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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