The Changing Nature of Work Among the Self-Employed in the 1990s: Evidence from Britain

Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Olufunmilola Ajayi-Obe

Olufunmilola Ajayi-Obe

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Simon C. Parker

University of Western Ontario; Durham University - Department of Economics and Finance; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

The conventional wisdom about work andemployment patterns in the United Kingdom in the 1990s is tested in an attemptto answer the questions of how many hours self-employed people work, and why;whether they work part-time or full-time jobs, permanent or temporary; and howthe gender composition of the workforce may havechanged in the 1990s.Data from the British Household Panel Survey is used for the time period from1991 to 2000. Three conventional hypotheses about employment patterns are that: 1) thereis a growing flexibility of work patterns involving more temporary andpart-time work; 2) more women are becoming self-employed; and 3) there is aconvergence between men and women in number of hours worked. Results from theanalysis refute the first two hypotheses and find only partial support for thethird. While the number of self-employed men rose slightly over the decade, thenumber of self-employed women stayed the same. The number of people workingmultiple, temporary, and part-time jobs decreased. Also, self-employed peoplecontinue to work longer hours than employees. To address the puzzle as to whyself-employed men work such long hours for less pay than employees, apanel-data model of work hours was developed. Results show that bothself-employed and employee men work fewer hours the more wages they are paid.(LKB)

Keywords: Wage discrepancies, Work hours, British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), Self-employment, Wages & salaries, Adaptability, Employment patterns, Gender, Labor conditions, Labor force

Suggested Citation

Ajayi-Obe, Olufunmilola and Parker, Simon C., The Changing Nature of Work Among the Self-Employed in the 1990s: Evidence from Britain (2005). Journal of Labor Research, Vol. 26, Issue 3, p. 501-517 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1501999

Olufunmilola Ajayi-Obe (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Simon C. Parker

University of Western Ontario ( email )

1151 Richmond Street
Suite 2
London, Ontario N6A 5B8
Canada

Durham University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

23/26 Old Elvet
Durham DH1 3HY
United Kingdom
+44 191 3747271 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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