Little is known about self-employment as a career choice for women who marry a highincome spouse. We show that Swedish women who are married to a high-income spouse are, on average, highly educated and more likely to pursue self-employment than those married to a spouse in the middle of the income distribution. Using rich Swedish register data, we compare the likelihood of self-employment before and after marriage for women who marry a spouse in the top 1, 0.5 and 0.1 percent to those who marry a spouse in the middle of the income distribution. The likelihood of entering self-employment increases by 128–176 percent for women who marry a spouse in the top of the income distribution, and the shift into self-employment is associated with a lower income. The effect of marrying a high-income spouse is larger for women than for men.
Small Business Economics
Female Self-Employment: Prevalence and Performance Effects of Having a High-Income Spouse