NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Self-Employment in OECD Countries

David G. Blanchflower

NBER Working Paper No. 7486
Issued in January 2000
NBER Program(s):   LS

This paper describes measurement of a self-employment rate and the important role the agricultural sector plays in any analysis of the determinants of self-employment. The determinants of the self-employment rate are modeled using a panel of 23 countries for the period 1966-1996. A similar analysis is then performed at the level of the individual using a time-series of cross-sections for the period 1975-1996 for 19 countries. For most countries there is a negative relationship between the self-employment rate and the unemployment rate. It is also shown that the self-employed are more satisfied with their jobs than are individuals who are not their own boss. I developed a flexibility index based on information provided by individuals in 1995. According to this index, the U.S. economy was the most flexible, followed by Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Latvia, Russia and Hungary were found to be the least flexible countries. Of the OECD countries examined, Austria and Ireland were ranked lowest.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7486

Published: Labour Economics, Vol. 7, no. 5 (September 2000): 471-505 citation courtesy of

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