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The Evolution of U.K. Self-Employment: A Study of Government Policy and the Role of the Macroeconomy

Marc Cowling () and Peter Mitchell

The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, 1997, vol. 65, issue 4, 427-42

Abstract: This paper reports the findings of a time-series analysis exploring the fundamental determinants of the substantial rise in UK self-employment over the period 1972-92. The key findings are that the self-employed/wage employed income differential has a high and positive effect upon the proportion of the workforce in self-employment, supporting alternative wage theories of labor market status, as does housing wealth, supporting credit rationing theories. Perhaps the most interesting feature concerns the relationship between unemployment and self-employment. On this the authors find that it is the duration structure of unemployment that matters not simply the stock of unemployed people. This evidence may imply that self-employment is a last resort for certain individuals marginalized in the employed sector and facing lengthy spells of unemployment. Copyright 1997 by Blackwell Publishers Ltd and The Victoria University of Manchester

Date: 1997
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