SELF-EMPLOYMENT, EFFICIENCY WAGE, AND PUBLIC POLICIES

Authors

  • ALOK KUMAR

    1. Kumar: Department of Economics, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 2Y2. Phone 250-7218543, Fax 250-7216214, E-mail kumara@uvic.ca
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    • I thank the editor and two anonymous referees for their detailed and very helpful comments. This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that unemployed workers are much more likely to become self-employed than wage-employed workers. Also, higher unemployment benefits significantly reduce the rate of self-employment. This article develops a model of self-employment which incorporates transitions between unemployment and self-employment. It integrates two strands of theoretical literature—models of occupational choice and the efficiency wage models. In this model, a higher unemployment benefit reduces the self-employment rate and the transition rate of unemployed workers to self-employment, which is consistent with empirical evidence. (JEL J23, J58, J64)

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