The Reemergence of Self-Employment: A Comparative Study of Self-Employment Dynamics and Social Inequality

The Reemergence of Self-Employment: A Comparative Study of Self-Employment Dynamics and Social Inequality

The Reemergence of Self-Employment: A Comparative Study of Self-Employment Dynamics and Social Inequality

The Reemergence of Self-Employment: A Comparative Study of Self-Employment Dynamics and Social Inequality

Synopsis

This book presents results of a cross-national research project on self-employment in eleven advanced economies and demonstrates how and why the practice is reemerging in modern societies. While traditional forms of self-employment, such as skilled crafts work and shop keeping, are in decline, they are being replaced by self-employment in both professional and unskilled occupations. Differences in self-employment across societies depend on the extent to which labor markets are regulated and the degree to which intergenerational family relationships are a primary factor structuring social organization. For each of the eleven countries analyzed, the book highlights the extent to which social background, educational attainment, work history, family status, and gender affect the likelihood that an individual will enter--and continue--a particular type of self-employment. While involvement with self-employment is becoming more common, it is occurring for individuals in activities that are more diverse, unstable and transitory than in years past.

Excerpt

This book is based on an international comparative research project examining recent developments in self-employment organized by Walter Müller at the Mannheim Center for European Social Research and Richard Arum at New York University. the project has involved researchers from eleven countries who have been meeting since August 1999 to develop and implement a unique analytical perspective that highlights inequalities both related to self-employment and found within selfemployment.

Our cross-national research is informed by a social stratification perspective and provides new insights into both the character and determinants of recent cross-national growth in self-employment in advanced economies. Our project highlights the importance of distinguishing selfemployment by occupational categories and gender, as well as appreciating the role of social class background and educational attainment in the structuring of labor market outcomes. Specifically, our research has four overall goals: (1) to distinguish among types of nonagricultural self-employment by applying an occupational categorization schema that distinguishes among professional (and managerial) self-employment, skilled nonprofessional self-employment, and unskilled nonprofessional self-employment; (2) to identify the relative weight of family background in the traditional inheritance of self-employment and the role of educational attainment in providing access to these various forms of self-employment; (3) to highlight the complex and dynamic character of self-employment by examining separately the process of self- employment entry and self-employment exit through use of event-history modeling; and (4) to examine the effects of national institutional settings (such as welfare state regimes and labor market regulations) on self-employment dynamics.

Our project provides detailed case-studies of eleven countries chosen to represent variation in national conditions. These papers are not a random collection of conference papers, but rather are a set of highly structured and comparable analyses that were commissioned to follow a common set of theoretical questions and methodological procedures. in particular, they use longitudinal panel and retrospective data on employment careers rather than relying on the limitations of cross-sectional data. These datasets represent the best available international sources to allow for a first-time systematic and large-scale comparative assessment of similarities and differences in the processes underlying entry and survival in self-employment.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.