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Self-Employment as Precarious Work

A European Perspective

Wieteke Conen and Joop Schippers

Since the 1970s the long term decline in self-employment has slowed – and even reversed in some countries – and the prospect of ‘being your own boss’ is increasingly topical in the discourse of both the general public and within academia. Traditionally, self-employment has been associated with independent entrepreneurship, but increasingly it has become a form of precarious work. This book utilises evidence-based information to address both the current and future challenges of this trend as the nature of self-employment changes, as well as to demonstrate where, when and why self-employment has emerged as precarious work in Europe.
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Chapter 9: Bogus self-employment in Sweden

Dominique Anxo and Thomas Ericson


This chapter analyses to what extent bogus self-employment is prevalent in Sweden and identifies institutional and economic factors that may explain its magnitude and development. Drawing on the last wave of the European Working Conditions Survey and using standard econometric techniques we analyse the prevalence of bogus self-employed in the EU-28 and Nordic countries and examine main differences between self-employment and bogus self-employment. We find that Sweden displays a lower incidence of bogus self-employed compared to other EU member states. Bogus self-employment appears to be more prevalent in certain segments of the labour market, in particular in industries such as construction, transport and personal household services. The specificity of the industrial relations system in Sweden, with strong social partners, high union density and coverage rate of collective agreements in all sectors of the economy, may explain the limited development of bogus self-employment and relatively low incidence compared to other member states.

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