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Essays on Self-employment, Happiness and International Trade
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The thesis consists of three empirical essays on the topics of self-employment, happiness and international trade.

Essay 1 studies how immigrant self-employment entry is affected by the local business cycle in Sweden. Using the unemployment rate at the local labour market level as a proxy for the local business cycle, our study shows that the self-employment entry behaviour for native men and immigrant men is negatively affected by the unemployment rate, except for immigrants from Middle East. However, such a negative effect is quantitatively weaker among the non-European immigrants. Further, the result shows that immigrants from the Middle East are positively affected by the unemployment rate, meaning they are more likely to be pushed into self-employment in recessions. For women, we also find the unemployment rate has a negative impact on the self-employment decision of native women and immigrant women, except for the Middle East group. However, compared with men, the quantitative size of the unemployment rate effect on self-employment is smaller among women, implying the less important role of business cycle in determining females’ entry into self-employment.

Essay 2 investigates the non-pecuniary return of self-employment in China. The results show that the life satisfaction of self-employed men is significantly higher than that of wage-employed men; the life satisfaction of self-employed women is not statistically significant different from that of wage-employed women. Moreover, we show that the life satisfaction of self-employed men in the informal sector is significantly higher than that of wage-employed men in the formal sector. The life satisfaction of wage-employed men in the informal sector is not significantly different from that of wage-employed men in the formal sector. For women, we find that there is no significant life satisfaction disparity between workers in the formal and informal sector. Finally, our job satisfaction data also concludes that self-employment in China is not inferior to wage employment.

Essay 3 evaluates how Swedish manufacturing employment is affected by the increasing import competition from China. The results show that the growth of manufacturing employment is not statistically significant affected by the increasing import competition from China. Moreover, in general, the increasing import exposure from China does not significantly affect the employment growth of non-manufacturing sector either. Regarding the earnings, the analysis shows that the low wage earners in the manufacturing sector is not significantly affected by the increasing import penetration from China while median and high wage earners are positively affected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Press, 2017. , p. 135
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 282/2017
Keywords [en]
business cycle, employment, immigrant, import competition, informality, life satisfaction, local labour market, self-employment, unemployment rate
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-65543ISBN: 978-91-88357-67-0 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-65543DiVA, id: diva2:1111703
Public defence
2017-04-10, Weber, 13:51
Opponent
Available from: 2017-06-19 Created: 2017-06-19 Last updated: 2017-06-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Immigrants’ self-employment over the local business cycle in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immigrants’ self-employment over the local business cycle in Sweden
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study combines the large Swedish register data at individual level with the unemployment data at region level to investigate to what extent the entry into self-employment, particular among immigrants, are affected by the local business cycle. We show that local unemployment rate negatively affects the entry into self-employment among native men and immigrant men, except immigrants from Middle East. Moreover, such pull effect is weaker among non-European immigrants’ men. Furthermore, the result shows that Middle Eastern immigrants’ men are pushed into self-employment in economic downturns. Similar with men, our results show that the local unemployment rate also negatively affects women’s entry into self-employment except immigrants from Middle East. However, this negative effect is quantitatively much smaller than among men, indicating thebusiness cycle plays a less important role in determining women’s self-employment entry decision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies, 2015. p. 30
Series
Working paper series: Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies ; 2015:15
Keywords
Immigrants, Self-employment, Local unemployment rate, Business cycle
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50626 (URN)
Available from: 2016-03-11 Created: 2016-03-11 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved
2. Self-employment and happiness in China
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-employment and happiness in China
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although the self-employment rate is high in many developing countries, the job quality of self employment has been little studied. Instead of using earnings, this paper uses life satisfaction as a proxy for individual total welfare. Using data from the China Family Panel Studies, we study the self-employment effect on life satisfaction. We find the life satisfaction of self-employed men is significantly higher than that of wage-employed men; the life satisfaction of self-employed women is not significantly different from that of wage-employed women. To address the informality of labour market, our results suggest that there is no sign that the life satisfaction of the self-employed in the informal sector is significantly lower than that of wage-employed in the formal private sector for both men and women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies, 2015. p. 38
Series
Working paper series: Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies ; 2015:16
Keywords
Self-employment, Life satisfaction, Informality
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economy, Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50627 (URN)
Available from: 2016-03-11 Created: 2016-03-11 Last updated: 2018-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Miao, Chizheng

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