The importance of housing for self-employment

Darja Reuschke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper demonstrates that housing influences decisions to start businesses or become self-employed. Housing characteristics can facilitate or hinder business start-ups, and the mechanisms depend on whether the business start-up takes place in people’s homes or not. Hitherto, economic geography has largely viewed housing as a system that accommodates and filters the workforce across space and neglected that housing is an economic resource to individuals. Using longitudinal micro data for the UK and a sample that accounts for the endogeneity of housing to employment/entrepreneurship, the study finds that home-based self-employment is facilitated by housing wealth, outright ownership, detached houses and large dwellings and is undermined by living in flats. Private rented accommodation enables entries into self-employment that are not based in people’s homes. Housing thus provides financial security and space, on the one hand, and shapes flexibility needed for entrepreneurship, on the other hand. Areas for future research arising from this study relate to the role of housing over the individual entrepreneur’s lifecourse and area effects on entrepreneurship and self-employment that relate to the spatial variation of housing supply.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-400
    JournalEconomic Geography
    Issue number4
    Early online date6 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Self-employment
    • Home
    • Home-based business
    • Housing


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