Towards a longitudinal analysis of non standard employment in Britain: the case of men's self- employment -PhD thesis-
01 Sep 1998
In this thesis the recent growth of non-standard employment in Britain is discussed in relation to a number of pre-existing theoretical perspectives. Focusing on men's self-employment, an analytical approach to explaining this increase is developed which uses a longitudinal perspective and combines qualitative accounts of lifetime work histories drawn from interview material with quantitative work history data from the British Household Panel Study (BHPS).
A new picture of structural change is also provided with a macro analysis of BHPS lifetime work history data suggesting that the 'service economy' thesis should be revised to differentiate between the effects of service consumption moving into a dedicated producer service sector and the growth of final marketed services. It is suggested that this has major implications for understanding the recent growth in self-employment for professional occupations.
Qualitative accounts of entry into self-employment given by interviewees provide models of interaction between individual and household characteristics and the wider environmental conditions as well as reflective accounts of the decision making process. These 'models' are 'recreated' with BHPS work and life history data using event history analysis, time variant modelling techniques and cohort analyses, to provide generalisable models of the mechanisms and processes by which individuals enter self-employment.
It is demonstrated that interactions between structural factors and time variant individual and household level variables are important in determining which individuals will enter self-employment. Interactions between occupation, housing tenure, spouses' employment history and historical period are all shown to be instrumental in the probability of an individual entering self-employment. The most crucial factor in determining the likelihood of an individual entering into self-employment is shown, however, to be their previous experience of unemployment.