Abstract

Previous work has not explicitly considered the heterogeneity of women’s self-employment when examining the effect of family characteristics (small children, partner’s status) on the entry into entrepreneurship (Budig 2006). Instead, empirical studies have rather pooled all types of women’s self-employment together, without considering the quality of their work. An important question is whether family structure encourages women’s self-employment both in professional and non-professional occupations to the same extent. Does the “family and work compatibility” (Brush 1992) factor impact the decision to become self-employed of both women entering highly-skilled and well-compensated occupations and those engaging in low-skilled and low-paid occupations? To answer this, we disaggregate women’s self-employment by professional and managerial status and examine whether the effect of family on the entry into self-employment differs across occupational classes in Western and Eastern European countries with different political, economic and socio-cultural environments.

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