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Self-employment: Antecedents, experiences, and consequences in a rapidly changing world of work

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Manpower


Self-employment: Antecedents, experiences, and consequences in a rapidly changing world of work


Purpose of the Special Issue:

A considerable share of total employment is conducted by the self-employed, i.e., by persons who own and work in their own business. Across OECD countries about 17% of employed men and 10% of employed women are currently self-employed (OECD, 2017a). Nevertheless, there is much variation behind these numbers. The group of self-employed is highly heterogeneous: it includes self-employed persons with and without personnel, it ranges from successful entrepreneurs to marginalized workers, and it covers highly different employment sectors.

Major macro-level developments – such as globalization, digitalization, labour market flexibilization, and the emergence of the ‘gig economy’ – form the context in which the self-employed operate (OECD, 2017b). On the one hand, these developments may result in more opportunities for small business owners, for instance, because of easy access to foreign markets. On the other hand, these developments may attract individuals into self-employment who may not be entrepreneurs in the purest sense (OECD, 2017a). In particular for this latter group of individuals, questions arise regarding the implications of their different rights and benefits, as compared to employees.

This Special Issue aims to bring together a comprehensive set of papers addressing a wide variety of pressing questions on the topic of self-employment. In particular, we aim to improve our understanding of the heterogeneity within the self-employed group, and to expand our insights regarding its antecedents and consequences.

Potential research themes:

Interested scholars are invited to send manuscripts representing original research on topics such as
•    entering into and exiting from different types of self-employment (including retirement processes and succession-related issues);
•    well-being and work quality of different types of self-employed individuals (e.g., job satisfaction, work-life balance, health, life satisfaction, financial situation, investment in training);
•    the way in which the self-employed prepare for social risks such as sickness, unemployment, and old age;
•    how trends such as digitalization and globalization are perceived to affect the working lives of the self-employed.
This list of topics is meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive.

Submission guidelines:

The deadline for submission of the full paper is the 28th of February 2019. We anticipate the Special Issue to be published by the end of 2019 / beginning of 2020.

The International Journal of Manpower is an empirical journal, mainly focusing on quantitative research. Manuscript length should normally not exceed 8000 words. Please consult the following web-page for the specific author guidelines of the journal:

To submit a manuscript to the International Journal of Manpower, please use the online submission and peer review system ScholarOne Manuscripts:

Guest editors:

If you have questions about the Special Issue or if you would like to discuss initial ideas for papers, please contact one of the guest editors.

Marleen Damman, PhD, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
E-mail: [email protected]

Monika von Bonsdorff, PhD, University of Vaasa

E-mail: [email protected]


•    OECD (2017a), Entrepreneurship at a Glance 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris,
•    OECD (2017b), "How technology and globalisation are transforming the labour market", in OECD Employment Outlook 2017, OECD Publishing, Paris,