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Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats

Carl Magnus Bjuggren (), Dan Johansson () and Mikael Stenkula ()

No 845, Working Paper Series from Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Abstract: Research on entrepreneurship has received an increased amount of interest in recent years, with self-employment being used as the most common proxy for “entrepreneurship” in empirical studies. However, there are various ways of defining self-employment, making it a somewhat dubious proxy. This may flaw the analysis, especially in cross-country studies, since the documentation of data often is insufficient and difficult to access due to language barriers. We present an analysis of Swedish self-employment data. We show that the measurement of self-employment has changed over time to noticeably affect the reported number of self-employed in the two major statistical sources on self-employment. The reported development of self-employment sometimes differs diametrically depending on source. Sweden is occasionally erroneously reported to show the largest increase in self-employment in cross-country studies. Our study mimics the results of other country-specific analyses and we conclude that well-grounded conclusions require that the advantages and disadvantages of different statistical sources are recognized.

Keywords: Labor Force Survey; RAMS; Self-employed; Self-employment; Entrepreneurship (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C81 C82 L26 M13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent and nep-lab
Date: 2010-07-09
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Related works:
Journal Article: Using self-employment as proxy for entrepreneurship: some empirical caveats (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats (2010) Downloads
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