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Is there a North-South divide in self-employment in England?

Burke, Andrew E.; Fitzroy, Felix R.; Nolan, Michael A.


Andrew E. Burke

Felix R. Fitzroy

Dr Michael Nolan
Senior Lecturer in Economics and HUBS Undergraduate Admissions Tutor


Using decomposition analysis, the paper investigates why Northern England has fewer but higher performing self-employed individuals than the South. It is found that the causes are mainly structural differences rather than regional variation in individual characteristics. There are more self-employed individuals in the South, but on average they create fewer jobs. Post-compulsory education has a strong negative effect on the probability of self-employment in the South, probably due to better employment opportunities there, but little influence in the North. Education has some positive effects on job creation by entrepreneurs in both regions. Aggregate studies might thus give misleading results. © 2009 Regional Studies Association.


Burke, A. E., Fitzroy, F. R., & Nolan, M. A. (2009). Is there a North-South divide in self-employment in England?. Regional studies, 43(4), 529-544.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2009
Publication Date May 1, 2009
Print ISSN 0034-3404
Electronic ISSN 1360-0591
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 4
Pages 529-544
Keywords Self-employment; Job creation; North–South divide; Decomposition
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