Robert Munk

Graduate Student

Department of Economics, Ohio State University

NLS user since 2013

  • Light, A., & Munk, R. (2015). "Business Ownership vs. Self-employment." Unpublished Working Paper
  • Munk, R. (2015). "Is Partner Income a Determinant of Business Ownership?" Unpublished Working Paper
What I learned from NLS data

Using the NLSY79's business ownership retrospective I have been able to examine if partner income is an important determinant of an individual's decision to become a business owner. I found that the effect of partner income varies strongly by gender. Women with high income husbands are more likely to become business owners than women with low or average income husbands. However, men are no more or less likely to start a business if their wife has a high income.

Why I chose NLS data

Since the NLSY79’s inception its respondents have identified nearly every self-employed job they have ever held. Additionally, in 2010 the respondents identified every business they had ever owned since the age of 18, and most of these businesses can be linked to current or previous jobs. While most microdata collect information on self-employed jobs, they do not collect information on business ownership. This is an important advantage of the NLSY79 because, as I show with my co-author Audrey Light, there is significant disagreement between the business ownership and self-employment proxies. Additionally, self-employment is less capital intensive than business ownership and often associated with home-based, single person work. If entrepreneurship is capital intensive and non-casual, then business ownership better proxies for entrepreneurship. This has lead me to use the NLSY79 in my solo authored work, in which I examine the determinants of and returns to business ownership.