A decomposition of the growth in self-employment

Frank van Es, Daniël van Vuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We decompose the rise of self-employment in the Netherlands in the period
1992 to 2006. Using Logit estimates we identify the most important
determinants of the recent upturn, separately for women and for men. In
contrast with findings for the United States, we find that changes in the
industrial composition only play a small role. For women, we find that
intra-sectoral developments have been important in spurring selfemployment. In particular, it has become more common for women to be self-employed in the Trade and Culture sectors. The ageing of society (older people are more often self-employed) is an important cause of the observed increase. This effect is partly compensated by the negative effect of a higher educated labour force. The estimation results imply that both policies to foster self-employment and a socio-cultural trend have been important. We postulate that generic policy effects have been the most important cause of the increase in self-employment. The largest effects were seen just in the last few years of our sample (2004–2006), which appears to be inconsistent with the notion of a longer lasting socio-cultural trend.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1669
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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