The number of self-employed workers in Europe has been in decline since the 1990s. At the same time unemployment has decreased and GDP per capita increased. In this study we analyse macroeconomic causes of these trends for the EU 15. We use data from the European Labor Force Survey for the period from 1991 to 2003. Our panel data analyses suggest that the number of self-employed workers in the EU 15 decreases with falling unemployment, while GPD per capita at first augments but later on diminishes self-employment. Rising real interest rates and rising tax rates decrease self-employment.
Göggel, Kathrin, Johannes Gräb and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2007), Selbständigkeit in Europa 1991 - 2003: Empirische Evidenz mit Länderdaten, Journal of Economics and Statistics 227/2, 153-167.