Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Self-employed: long hours and low wages, but high job satisfaction

13.04.2006


Self-employed male Britons have been found to work longer hours for lower wages than those of their employee counterparts. This is attributed to them facing greater uncertainty and so working harder as a way to insure their future livelihoods. In addition, according to the research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, there was no evidence of growing female self-employment, or the anticipated greater labour flexibility resulting from self-employment during the 1990s.



The project, conducted by Professor Simon Parker and Olufunmilola Ajaji-obe of the Durham Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Durham, sought a better understanding of the nature of work and the labour supply of self-employed people by studying various employment data sources in the UK and the USA.

“More than one-in-ten workers are self-employed in the UK, they employ a similar number of people and run most of the UK’s firms. This makes them a very important part of the overall labour market,” said Professor Simon Parker. “The study has revealed a number of key findings that might make it easier for policy-makers to successfully promote entrepreneurship and self-employment.”


Although self-employed people work long hours, they were less satisfied with the length of time they felt they had to work than employees. Given the chance and like employees, male self-employed Britons respond to higher earnings by working fewer hours.

In addition to examining the changing nature of work of self-employed people, the project also developed a model of entrepreneurial learning and explored the retirement behaviour of older self-employed workers.

“We found that younger entrepreneurs are significantly more sensitive to new information than the older ones. However, overall the whole group adjust their expectations of unobserved productivity, in the light of acquiring new information, by only 16 percent,” said Professor Parker. “Another observation was that greater, or potentially greater, earnings around retirement age decreases the probability of retirement of the self-employed. It seems to be, ‘Why stop whilst there’s a good thing going?’ – a very understandable sentiment. Gender, health and family circumstances appear to have little bearing on entrepreneurs’ retirement decisions.”

Professor Parker identifies a number of key implications:

• Advantageous welfare benefits policies could alleviate income risk – making self-employment more attractive.
• In encouraging self-employment, Government should target younger rather than older workers as fewer workers switch into this form of employment in later working life.
• Policies promoting better health among older workers are likely to discourage the self-employed switching to paid employment, whereas for employees such policies would principally postpone retirement.
• Entrepreneurship programmes should be open to all levels of experience and promote continuous business awareness and learning.
• While entrepreneurs exploit new information, they give greater weight to their prior beliefs when forming their expectations.

Alexandra Saxon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk
http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika

23.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Melting solid below the freezing point

23.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>