Self-employment around retirement age

This paper uses panel data from the pan-European SHARE survey to study labor market behavior of older male self-employed vis-a-vis wage employed workers.We find the self-employed to work longer hours, to be more flexible in their hours allocation, and to retire later in all countries.We relate these differences in observed behavior to individual characteristics, economic resources, and to documented cross-nationalvariation in labor market and social security institutions. Differential incentives matter for the retirement behavior of the self-employed.We also provide evidence of the self-employed not wanting to retireas early as possible, and contrast these expectation data with realized retirement transitions. The overall picture that emerges is that older self-employed have a very strong labor market attachment and they use their degrees of freedom to work more and retire later accordingly.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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