The role of wealth in the start-up decision of new self-employed: Evidence from a pension policy reform

We used administrative micro panel data from the Netherlands to study the wealth effect on the transitions of workers from wage-employment to self-employment.
To isolate the causal effect of wealth, we used a pension system reform in 2006 as a quasi-natural experiment. With the onset of the reform, wage-employees born on or after 1 January 1950 faced a substantial reduction of their pension wealth. Our empirical results are robust to the checks on the anticipation effects and the placebo
effects, and show that the (pension) wealth change has a significant positive causal effect on the transition into self-employment.

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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