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 Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>