Inequality, social mobility and entrepreneurship


Flip Chart Fairy Tales

The ‘business start ups will save us’ meme is one that just refuses to die. Last week, former M&S boss Stuart Rose proclaimed an “entrepreneurial rush” based on the record number of companies being formed. Conservative chairman Grant Shapps said that entrepreneurialism is the key to social mobility. At least, that’s the way it’s being reported, though the piece itself is something of a ramble.

Let’s recap on what we know about self-employment.

1. Self employed people don’t earn as much as those in employment.

blanchflowergraph

Source:David Blanchflower, based on HMRC data.

2. 40 percent of self-employed people are in the bottom 20 percent of earners.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 07.56.41

Source:Institute for Fiscal Studies

3. Over the past decade, self-employed incomes have fallen more than those of the wider population

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 09.34.00

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 09.36.57

Source: Office for National Statistics

4. Most of the new businesses set up over the last decade are one-man…

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