Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: What Are the Outcomes Associated with Self-Employment at the Older Ages?

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 2:05 PM
Orchid A (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Jeremy Grant Moulton and John Scott, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Older Americans are delaying retirement, and in general, self-employment and entrepreneurship may be important avenues for work and economic productivity at the older ages. But outcomes associate with self-employment at older ages is is understudied.  We build on prior research on self-employment, entrepreneurship, the aging workforce, and recent work on ‘good jobs, bad jobs.’   

The major focus of the paper is on outcomes associated with the different conceptions of self-employment.  We will break self-employment into different categories that touch on different aspects of work, including entrepreneurial aspects and self-employment that requires high levels of human capital.  What is the effect of each type of self-employment in terms of different outcomes such as, for example, duration in self-employment, financial situation, or health? 

The HRS is the data source for this analysis.  Our sample comes from all survey waves.  A large, longitudinal dataset, the HRS includes questions on various aspects of workforce status and personal attributes. The key variables are those that define different conceptions of self-employment: for example, we would combine self-reports of self-employment with an occupation that is “knowledge-based”, self-employment combined with managerial or supervisory responsibilities, self-employment combined with a self-report of business asset ownership, and others.  The analyses incorporate a variety of independent variables such as  risk aversion, business closings and layoffs, resources, education, family structure, gender, and health insurance.  The key measures for the examining outcomes will include both financial outcomes as well as non-financial indicators such as self-reported health status.