خود اشتغالی در کشورهای سازمان همکاری و توسعه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27137||2000||35 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||13028 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Labour Economics, Volume 7, Issue 5, September 2000, Pages 471–505
The paper examines the role and influence of self-employment across the OECD. The overall trend in self-employment, at the economy level in the years since 1966, has been down in most countries. The main exceptions to this are Portugal, New Zealand and the United Kingdom where the trend has been upward. For most countries there is a negative relationship between the self-employment rate and the unemployment rate. The probability of being self-employed is higher among men than women and rises with age. The least educated have the highest probability of being self-employed, however, evidence is found that the most highly educated also have relatively high probabilities. The self-employed have higher levels of job satisfaction than employees. I could find no evidence that increases in the self-employment rate increased the real growth rate of the economy; in fact there was even evidence of the opposite. The self-employed are less willing to move from their neighborhoods, towns and regions than are employees, presumably because of the pull of their customers. I developed a flexibility index based on information provided by individuals in 1995. According to this index the US 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.
A large proportion of the labor force apparently would like to be their own bosses. Self-employment presents an opportunity for the individual to set his or her own schedule, to work when they like, to answer to nobody and possibly even as a way to become rich. Unfortunately on the downside, if the business fails the individual may lose their job, their savings, their home if as often happens it is used as security on a loan, and perhaps even their marriage because of the stresses and strains. If we have learnt anything from portfolio theory it is that an individual should diversify their portfolio and not to pool their resources into a single risky activity. Governments, on the other hand, frequently see self-employment as a route out of poverty and disadvantage and, for this reason, offer aid and assistance for small businesses. The justification for these actions is usually that it is argued that self-employment will help promote invention and innovation and thus create new jobs; new firms may also raise the degree of competition in the product market bringing gains to consumers; greater self-employment may also go along with increased self-reliance and well being. Unfortunately, economists have little evidence on whether these hypothetical benefits exist in practice. Even the widely held view, best expressed in Birch (1979), that small firms disproportionately are the creators of jobs has been challenged by Davis et al. (1996) who have undertaken the most careful empirical analysis of the job creation process to date.1 They argue persuasively that “conventional wisdom about the job creating powers of small businesses rests on statistical fallacies and misleading interpretations of the data” (1996, p. 57). Indeed, they go on to conclude the following. It is true that small businesses create jobs in disproportionate numbers. That is gross job creation rates are substantially higher for smaller plants and firms. But because gross job destruction rates are also substantially higher for smaller plants and firms, they destroy jobs in disproportionate numbers. We found no strong systematic relationship between employer size and net job growth rates…. Finally, and in contrast to the lack of a clear-cut relationship between employer size and job growth,… (we found)… clear evidence that large employers offer greater job durability. (1996, p. 170) Despite the lack of clear and convincing evidence (I learnt that phrase from the Starr report!) of the benefits of having a larger small business sector and/or having a higher proportion of the workforce self-employed, as noted above, many governments around the world provide subsidies to individuals set-up and to remain in business. In Britain and France, for example, government programs provide transfer payments to the unemployed while they attempt to start businesses.2 In the U.S., similar programs are being started for unemployment insurance and welfare recipients. Many countries, including the UK and the United States, have government programs to provide loans to small businesses, and even exempt small businesses from certain regulations and taxes. Furthermore, many states and municipalities in the U.S. have had programs to encourage minority and female-owned small businesses.3 Probably the greatest interest in entrepreneurship springs from a belief that small businesses are essential to the growth of a capitalist economy. While the view that small businesses are responsible for a disproportionate share of job creation and innovation is disputed,4 this view is a common one. It is often argued that many of the problems of Eastern Europe come from the lack of entrepreneurs. Academics have been interested in self-employment as a safety valve where the unemployed and victims of discrimination could find jobs.5 Interest in self-employment has also been prompted by the belief that they face a different set of economic incentives, and thus could be used to test various theories.6 The simplest kind of entrepreneurship is self-employment. There is recent survey evidence to suggest that, in the industrialized countries, many individuals who are currently employees would prefer to be self-employed. Although it cannot be definitive, this evidence suggests that there may be restrictions on the supply of entrepreneurs. The International Social Survey Programme7 of 1989 asked random samples of individuals from eleven countries the question: Suppose you were working and could choose between different kinds of jobs. Which of the following would you choose? I would choose… (i) Being an employee, (ii) Being self-employed, (iii) Can't choose. As can be seen from Table 1, large numbers of people gave answer (ii) and thus stated that they would wish to be self-employed. This answer was given by, for example, a remarkable 63% of Americans (out of 1453 asked), 48% of Britons (out of 1297), and 49% of Germans (out of 1575). Answers are similar when the sample is restricted to employees only. These numbers can be compared with an actual proportion of workers that are self-employed in these countries of approximately 15%. As pointed out by a referee, one possible interpretation of the answers to this question is that individuals would like to be considered as self-employed by the tax authorities, thereby paying less tax. Numerous expenses such as travel-to-work costs are tax deductible for the self-employed but not for employees. The data raise a puzzle: why do not more of these individuals follow their apparent desire to run a business? This paper explores the factors that may be important in determining who becomes and remains an entrepreneur across many countries. A number of other issues are examined including (a) to what extent do the characteristics of the self-employed vary across countries; (b) the relationship between the self-employment rate, variously defined, and the unemployment rate across countries; (c) how satisfied the self-employed are with their jobs; (d) whether higher levels of self-employment increase the real growth rate of the economy; (e) how mobile the self-employed are across neighborhoods, regions and towns. Finally, I develop a flexibility index across countries based upon individuals' reports on how willing they are to move. According to this index, the US economy was the most flexible, followed by Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Latvia, Russia and Hungary are found to be the least flexible countries. The paper uses data for a number of countries drawn from a variety of sources. The main source of data is the Eurobarometer Surveys conducted by EUROSTAT which provides information on member countries of the European union. These data are supplemented with cross-country data from the International Social Survey Programme series as well as the General Social Surveys for the United States and the Surveys of Consumer Finances in Canada. In Section 2 of the paper we discuss previous research findings. Section 3 describes measurement of a self-employment rate and the important role the agricultural sector plays in any analysis of the determinants of self-employment. It initially models the determinants of the self-employment rate using a panel of 23 countries for the period 1966–1996 and then performs a similar analysis of the determinants of self-employment at the level of the individual using a time-series of cross-sections for the period 1975–1996 for 19 countries. Section 4 examines whether the self-employed are more satisfied with their job than are individuals who are not their own boss. Section 5 examines whether self-employment enhances labor marker flexibility. Section 6 contains our conclusions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The main conclusions are as follows. (1) The overall trend in self-employment, at the economy level in the years since 1966, has been down in most countries. The main exceptions to this are Portugal, New Zealand and the United Kingdom where the trend has been upward. (2) As a proportion of non-agricultural employment, self-employment has declined in some countries (Austria, Belgium, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the USA) but increased in others (Australia, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom). (3) For most countries, there is a negative relationship between the self-employment rate (variously defined) and the unemployment rate. From the time series regressions, evidence of positive effects is found only in Iceland and Italy. The effects are more strongly negative in the agricultural sector. There is more evidence of positive unemployment effects in the individual level equations. (4) The probability of being self-employed is higher among men than women and rises with age. The least educated have the highest probability of being self-employed, however, evidence is found that the most highly educated have relatively high probabilities. (5) The self-employed have higher levels of job satisfaction than employees. (6) I could find no evidence that increases in the self-employment rate increased the real growth rate of the economy. (7) The self-employed are less willing to move from their neighborhoods, towns and regions than are employees, presumably because of the pull of their customers. (8) I developed a flexibility index based on information provided by individuals in 1995. According to this index, the US 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.