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Title: An empirical study of self-employment in the UK
Author: Brooksbank, D. J.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1995
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There has been a dramatic increase in the number of self-employed workers in the UK since 1980. From a base of 2145 thousand in that year, the figure rose to a peak of 3547 thousand in 1990 and then fell back slightly as the recent recession took effect. This thesis examines these phenomena, in particular with respect to male workers, in a number of distinct ways. Initially, I conduct a survey of the statistics and trends in self-employment over time. This is supplemented by a review of past econometric attempts to explain these patterns and this serves to motivate my own research. A time series study is conducted using aggregate macro-economic data. Multivariate cointegration analysis is used to determine a long-run model of self-employment, with associated short-run dynamics captured in an Error Correction Model. The significant roles of personal finance, access to start-up capital and income relative to the wage employee sector are highlighted. These factors then form an integral part of the second study. This is a cross-section analysis of the probability of self-employment using the probit binary choice model. A consistent data set using thirteen years of the General Household Survey is constructed and applied to an expanded version of the model of Rees and Shah (1986). The resulting reduced-form probit regressions are then used in a 'growth accounting' decomposition which helps identify the factors responsible for the increase over the decade and the fall during 1990. Once again a substantial role is found for 'wealth' variables, whilst employment in the non-manufacturing sector and the professions is also highlighted. The fall in 1990 and beyond is predicted by the decomposition, as is the dominance of changing coefficients, over characteristics, in explaining the trends.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available