We examined supply-side determinants of transition from the wage and salary sector to self-employment of women and men living Poland. The empirical analysis was made possible due to a unique and under explored longitudinal survey—Social Diagnosis—that contains rare indicators such as job preferences and work events. The empirical results in the 2007–2015 period indicated that women and men transitioning into self-employment were differently motivated. In terms of job attributes, women found independence at work and for those in professional occupations a job matching their competences as a desirable job attribute, while for men the lack of stress, a good salary and independence was key. The analysis of work events and its influence on self-employment weakly confirmed the glass-ceiling hypothesis. In line with other research, our analysis indicated that financial constraints strongly determined the entry into self-employment. A key human capital determinant was past entrepreneurial experience indicating a slow, cautious transition process into self-employment.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
For example, due to an underdeveloped social infrastructure.
Also, referred to as the work and family conflict theory.
This theoretical perspective is also know as the default theory.
This is also known as the default theory.
Although the main industry branches were directly owned by the state under communism, a large sector of legal self-employment and small-scale private businesses (such as restaurants, small shops and services) remained in private hands (three-fourths of Poland’s farmland as well). By the early 1990s, due to an already large presence of the private sector under communism, more than half of the Polish economy was in private hands, while more than four-fifths of Polish shops were privately owned.
Individuals are treated as self-employed if they report that their main source of income comes from a self-employment activity. In an analogous way, we define employees.
This type of model is typically used to model who transitions into self-employment as opposed to remaining in employment (or another state). The main shortcoming of this method is that it omits individuals that are already considered to be in self-employment. For an extensive overview of the literature using these methods see Parker (2009).
Households are selected using a two-stage stratified sampling method. Prior to the sampling, households are stratified by region (voivodeship) and by city size (e.g. rural village, small town, large town, etc). The primary sampling units are either statistical regions (for urban strata) or statistical districts (for rural districts).
This corresponds to 5925 individuals (3092 male, 2833 female). The distribution of transitions per individual is presented in Table 14.
An alternative specification for those aged 20 to 40 years old confirms the importance of savings for those moving into self-employment. (see Table 10).
We control for additional macro-level factors in column (4) and column (5) of Tables 4 and 5 that could provide an indication of labor market demand conditions in order to examine their association with the decision to become self-employed. We only find childcare to be statistically significant (positive), and only for men.
At first, stress-related preferences seem counterintuitive given the hassle and uncertainty associated with starting a new business. However, empirical studies present mixed evidence on the relationship between self-employment and work-related stress. For a summary of results, see Hessels et al. (2017)). In fact, these authors show that those working for themselves report lower levels of work-related stress than employees.
Abbasolu Özgören, A., Ergöçmen, B., & Tansel, A. (2018). Birth and employment transitions of women in Turkey: Conflicting or compatible roles? Dempgraphic Research, 39(46), 1241–1290.
Allen, W. D., & Curington, W. P. (2014). The self-employment of men and women: What are their motivations? Journal of Labor Research, 35(2), 143–161. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12122-014-9176-6.
Andersson Joona, P. (2014). Female self-employment and children: The case of Sweden (working paper no. 8486). IZA discussion papers. Retrieved July 11, 2019, from https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/ 103487.
Boden, R. J. (1999). Gender inequality in wage earnings and female self-employment selection. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 28(3), 351–364. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1053-5357(99)00026-8.
Bordone, V., Arpino, B., & Aassve, A. (2017). Patterns of grandparental child care across Europe: The role of the policy context and working mothers’ need. Ageing & Society, 37(4), 845–873. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X1600009X.
Budig, M. J. (2006). Gender, self-employment, and earnings: The interlocking structures of family and professional status. Gender and Society, 20(6), 725–753.
Carr, D. (1996). Two paths to self-employment?: Women’s and men’s self-employment in the united states, 1980. Work and Occupations, 23(1), 26–53. https://doi.org/10.1177/0730888496023001003.
Carroll, C. (2002). Portfolios of the rich (Chapter 10). In L. Guiso, M. Haliassos, & T. Jappelli (Eds.), Household portfolios (pp. 389–430). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Charles, K. K., & Hurst, E. (2003). The correlation of wealth across generations. Journal of Political Economy, 111(6), 1155–1182.
Ciolek, D. (2017). Oszacowanie wartosci produktu krajowego brutto w polskich powiatach. Gospodarka Narodowa, 3, 55–87.
Connelly, R. (1992). Self-employment and providing child care. Demography, 29(1), 17–29.
Cowling, M. (2000). Are entrepreneurs different across countries? Applied Economics Letters, 7, 785–789.
Devine, T. J. (1994). Changes in wage-and-salary returns to skill and the recent rise in female self-employment. The American Economic Review, 84(2), 108–113.
Do, T. Q. T. & Duchene, G. (2008). Determinants of self-employment: The case in vietnam (Documents de travail du Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne No. v08038). Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne. Retrieved from http://ideas.repec.org/p/mse/cesdoc/v08038.html
Gallie, D. (2007). Production regimes and the quality of employment in Europe. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 85–104.
Georgellis, Y., & Wall, H. (2005). Gender differences in self-employment. International Review of Applied Economics, 19(3), 321–342.
Hessels, J., Rietveld, C. A., & van der Zwan, P. (2017). Self-employment and work-related stress: The mediating role of job control and job demand. Journal of Business Venturing, 32(2), 178–196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2016.10.007.
Hurst, E., & Lusardi, A. (2004). Liquidity constraints, household wealth, and entrepreneurship. Journal of Political Economy, 112(2), 319–347.
Iacovou, M., & Skew, A. J. (2011). Household composition across the new Europe: Where do the new member states fit in? Demographic Research, 25(14), 465–490. https://doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2011.25.14.
Junquera, B. (2011). Where does female entrepreneurial human capital come from? A review of the literature. Innovation, 13(3), 391–411. https://doi.org/10.5172/impp.2011.13.3.391.
Knothe, M. A. & Lisowska, E. (1999). Women on the labour market: Negative changes and entrepreneurship opportunities as the consequences of transition. Center for the Advancement of Women.
Kotowska, I. (1995). Discrimination against women in the labor market in Poland during the transition to a market economy. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 2(1), 76–90. https://doi.org/10.1093/sp/2.1.76.
Kotowska, I. (2007). Aktywnosc zawodowa i edukacyjna a obowiazki rodzinne w polsce (U. I. Woycicka I. Sztanderska, Ed.). Scholar.
Krynska, E. (2007). Praca na wlasny rachunek - determinanty i implikacje (E. Krynska, Ed.). IPISS.
LDB. (2019). Care of children statistics. Local Data Bank – Statistics Poland. Retrieved January 2019, from https://bdl.stat.gov.pl/BDL/dane/podgrup/temat.
Lisowska, E. (1997). Polish women in the business world (E. Lisowska & E. Maslyk-Musia, Eds.). Maria Curie-Sklodowska University Press.
Lisowska, E. (2001). Przedsiebiorczosc kobiet w polsce na tle krajow europy srodkowej i wschodniej. SGH.
Mood, C. (2010). Logistic regression: Why we cannot do what we think we can do, and what we can do about it. European Sociological Review, 26(1), 67–82.
Mroczkowski, T. (1997). Women as employees and entrepreneurs in the polish transformation. Industrial Relations Journal, 28(2), 83–91.
OECD. (2019). OECD employment and labour market statistics. https://doi.org/10.1787/data-00286-en
Parker, S. C. (2009). The economics of entrepreneurship. Cambridge: Cambridge Univesity Press.
Rollnik-Sadowska, E. (2010). Przedsiebiorczosc kobiet w polsce. Difin.
Saridakis, G., Marlow, S., & Storey, D. J. (2014). Do different factors explain male and female self-employment rates? Journal of Business Venturing, 29(3), 345–362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusvent.2013.04.004.
Sarkar, S., Sahoo, S., & Klasen, S. (2019). Employment transitions of women in India: A panel analysis. World Development, 115(100), 291–309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.1.
Sena, V., Scott, J., & Roper, S. (2012). Gender, borrowing patterns and self-employment: Some evidence for England. Small Business Economics, 38(4), 467–480. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-010-9272-9.
Siemienska, R. (1999). Women and men in elites: Cross national study. ISS Warszawa.
Sierminska, E., Brandolini, A., & Smeeding, T. M. (2006). The luxembourg wealth study—A cross-country comparable database for household wealth research. The Journal of Economic Inequality, 4(3), 375–383. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-006-9030-z.
Tervo, H., & Haapanen, M. (2010). The nature of self-employment: How does gender matter? International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 9(3), 349–371.
UNICEF. (1999). Women in transition. The MONEE Project, UNICEF.
Velilla, J., Molina, J. A., & Ortega, R. (2018). Why older workers become entrepreneurs? International evidence using fuzzy set methods. The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, 12(100), 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeoa.2018.03.00.
Verheul, I., Thurik, R., & Grilo, I. (2006). Determinants of self-employment preference and realization of women and men in europe and the united states (Scales Research Reports No. H200622). EIM Business and Policy Research. Retrieved from http://ideas.repec.org/ p/eim/papers/h200622.html
Wennekers, S., van Stel, A., Carree, M. A., & Thurik, R. (2010). The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development: Is it u-shaped? (Scales Research Reports No. H200824). EIM Business and Policy Research. Retrieved from http://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:eim:papers:h200824
Williams, D. R. (2000). Consequences of selfemployment for women and men in the United States. Labour Economics, 7(5), 665–687.
WVS. (2019). World values survey online analysis. Retrieved January 2019, from http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/WVSOnline.jsp.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Buttler, D., Sierminska, E. Career or Flexible Work Arrangements? Gender Differences in Self-employment in a Young Market Economy. J Fam Econ Iss 41, 70–95 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-020-09668-x
- Work conditions