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Tertiary educated people and the prevalence of self-employment

Conference contribution
Authors Caroline Berggren
Published in Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA), Uppsala, Sweden, March 6-8,
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Sociology


This paper advocates for a societal perspective in contrast to the individual perspective that is dominant in entrepreneurship education to understand the limited impact from this education - Sweden makes an example. The European Union has since the 1990s and increasingly since 2004 (European_Commission, 2004) encouraged the member states to invest in entrepreneurship education for national growth and as a solution to unemployment. Data analysed come from Swedish registers of individuals born in 1974-1976. Women and the tertiary educated are seen as an underexploited source of entrepreneurial potential; women because fewer of them are self-employed than men, and the tertiary educated because they are expected to be innovative, start businesses and employ others. Women were highly unlikely to become self-employed; partly because of the indirect effect, the gendered educational choices, and partly because of the direct effect of gender discrimination.

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