Journal Article

Do Entrepreneurs Really Earn Less?


  • Sorgner
  • A.
  • Fritsch
  • M.
  • Kritikos
  • A.
Publication Date

Based on large representative German household survey data, we compare incomes of the self-employed with those of paid employees. We find that the entrepreneurial income gap is largest for those holding a tertiary degree, but in two directions: positive for employers (self-employed with further employees) and negative for solo entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs holding a tertiary degree also face the greatest income variation. However, some solo self-employed earn more than their employed counterparts, in particular those with a university entrance degree as the highest level of education.

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JEL Classification
D22, D31, J24, J31, L26

Key Words

  • entrepreneurship
  • income
  • self-employment