After one of my recent posts about self-employment, someone (I forget who or where) asked me if I could plot the percentage of self-employment in a country against its per-capita GDP. There is no way at the moment that I have time to do such complex data crunching. Fortunately, though, I discovered this great site called Gapminder which has done just that. It’s crunched loads of other data too, so it’s going onto the sidebar for future reference.
Percentage of self-employed and per-capita GDP
If you follow the link to the site you can click on the circles to see which countries they represent. The big yellow one on the far right is the US. Broadly speaking, the richer a country is, the lower its proportion of self-employed people. This is not to say that self-employed people make a country poor. It’s the other way round – poor countries have more self-employed people because their economies can’t create enough full-time jobs.
Politicians like to bang the drum for self-employment but they should be careful what they wish for. Too much of it can be a Bad Thing.