Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats

Reprint No. 2012:45

Author(s): Carl Magnus Bjuggren, Dan Johansson and Mikael StenkulaYear: 2012 Title: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Volume (No.): 77 (3) Pages: 290–303
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

Self-employment is the most frequently used measure of entrepreneurship. However, its definition varies between countries, which makes comparisons difficult. We present an analysis of Swedish self-employment data and show that even within one country, the depicted development differs greatly depending on the source used. Unlike previous claims in cross-country studies, we find that there is no basis for categorising Sweden as having increased its self-employment rate more than others. This demonstrates a need to carefully specify the characteristics of the data, and their advantages and disadvantages, before drawing conclusions about the frequency of entrepreneurship in different countries.

Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, Dan Johansson and Mikael Stenkula (2012), "Using Self-employment as Proxy for Entrepreneurship: Some Empirical Caveats". International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 77(3), 290–303.

Mikael Stenkula


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