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.”
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