Self-employment, regardless of its quality, offers the advantage of keeping individuals employed, thereby contributing to a continuous work history and earnings over the lifetime. But in the individual life cycle, how important is self-employment, particularly given evidence that self-employment spells tend to be of short duration? Also, to what extent does self-employment contribute to race and gender differences in lifetime employment? We use an increment-decrement life table to analyze the role of self-employment in differentiating the working lifetimes of blacks and women from those of white men. White men's average lifetime years spent in self-employment exceed black men's by as many as six years, thus accounting for nearly the entire difference between whiteand black men's lifetime years employed. White women's self-employment episodes,while almost as numerous as white men's, are shorter and less connected towage-employment episodes. Black women's self-employment episodes are bothinfrequent and of short duration.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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