Working Paper

The Self-Employment Option in Rigid Labor Markets: An Empirical Investigation

Abstract: This paper studies selection into and returns to self-employment in labor markets with stringent employment protection. Using Spanish administrative panel data, we characterize self-employment dynamics in the presence of rigidities that affect workers? outside options. We document the negative selection into self-employment when workers enter from unemployment, and the pro-cyclicality of the decision. We identify career heterogeneity in the data and estimate a rich life-cycle income process. The self-employed face shocks with smaller variances but lower returns compared to fixed-term workers?the prevalent contract out of unemployment. These facts call for a revision of active labor market policies in place.

Keywords: Self-employment; Business cycles; Unemployment; Employment protection;

JEL Classification: J24; J64; E32;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

Part of Series: International Finance Discussion Papers

Publication Date: 2019-11-14

Number: 1264

Pages: 49 pages