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Gender Differences in Self-Employment in Finnish Regions

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  • Hannu Tervo

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  • Mika Haapanen

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Abstract

Many studies show that gender predicts entries into self-employment – females are typically a minority of self-employed. Men also have a higher probability of remaining in business than women. In many countries, however, females represent the fastest growing segment among the self-employed. The reasons that lead women and men to enter self-employment can be very different, and may also differ between regions. A well-known but little understood fact is that rates of entrepreneurship exhibit pronounced and persistent variations across regions. The specification and understanding of regional entrepreneurial environments remains a complex issue. The aim of this paper is to throw some light on gender differences in entrepreneurship in Finland and its regions. Are there gender differences in self-employment rates, and if there are, for what reason? How do female entrepreneurs differ from male entrepreneurs with regard to predicted income, personal and household characteristics, assets, prior activity and industry? What is the husband’s role in the household? Personal characteristics such as family size, marital status, and the presence and ages of children may play different role for women than they do for men. We intend to apply the structural probit model to female self-employment in order to test the hypothesis whether an individual is more likely to be self-employed the greater is the predicted relative income in self-employment. Our data set is based on a Longitudinal Census File and the Longitudinal Employment Statistics File constructed by Statistics Finland. Since 1987, the two basic files are updated annually in Finland. These two register-based data sets, together with some other registers, provide panel data on each resident of Finland, from which a 7 per cent random sample is taken for this study. The data set is very rich including hundreds and hundreds of variables for 1987-2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Hannu Tervo & Mika Haapanen, 2006. "Gender Differences in Self-Employment in Finnish Regions," ERSA conference papers ersa06p380, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa06p380
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    File URL: http://www-sre.wu.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa06/papers/380.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    2. Ingrid Verheul & André Van Stel & Roy Thurik, 2006. "Explaining female and male entrepreneurship at the country level," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 151-183, March.
    3. Hannu Niittykangas & Hannu Tervo, 2005. "Spatial variations in intergenerational transmission of self-employment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 319-332.
    4. David Blanchflower & A Oswald, 1991. "Self-Employment and Mrs Thatchers Enterprise," CEP Discussion Papers dp0030, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Hannu Tervo, 2006. "Regional unemployment, self-employment and family background," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(9), pages 1055-1062.
    6. Edvard Johansson, 2000. "Self-employment and the predicted earnings differential - evidence from Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 45-55, Spring.
    7. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul, 2004. "Explaining female and male entrepreneurship across 29 countries," Scales Research Reports N200403, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    8. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
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