Small Business Economics

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 549–569 | Cite as

Female self-employment and children

  • Florian NoseleitEmail author


Several analyses report a positive correlation between fertility and female self-employment; however, scholars disagree about the direction of this relationship. Knowing about the causal relationship is important because the relevant mechanisms and possible implications differ tremendously. This paper studies two competing hypotheses: Is self-employment more attractive to women because they have children? Or, is it occupation-specific characteristics of self-employed women that impact their fertility? This work applies a unique approach by utilizing exogenous variation in both children and self-employment.


Self-employment Causality Gender Female entrepreneurship Children 

JEL Classifications

L26 M13 J13 



I am grateful to seminar participants at the I&O Seminar in Groningen, as well as two anonymous referees, for many helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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