Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males (Revised)

33 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2004 Last revised: 8 Aug 2010

See all articles by Victor R. Fuchs

Victor R. Fuchs

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 1980


This longitudinal analysis of the labor market behavior of older, urban white males in 1969, 1971, and 1973 focuses on changes from wage-and-salary to self-employment and changes from working to non-working status. In each two-year transition approximately four percent of wage-and-salary workers switched to self-employment. They were primarily men who were previously self-employed or who were in wage-and-salary occupations with characteristics similar to self-employment, e.g., managers and salesmen. For a blue collar worker employed forty hours per week the predicted probability of switching was close to zero. Controlling for a large number of economic and demographic variables, the self-employed were significantly more likely to continue to work, partly by reducing their workweek to under 35 hours. Other significant predictors of continuing to work are good health, years of schooling, white collar occupation, no expectation of a private pension, and a workweek longer than fifty hours. Age is also important, especially at the eligibility ages set by social security.

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Victor R., Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males (Revised) (November 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0584. Available at SSRN:

Victor R. Fuchs (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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