Department of Business Administration

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Frederik Witte

Frederik Witte defended his doctoral thesis "When Employees Leap to Self-Employment: Do Busines Ideas, Occupations and Policy Matter?" September 22. Below, he tells you a little about himself and what his research is all about.

What is the most important problem facing employees in the modern economy once they come up with a new business idea? Maybe it is the decision whether or not to leap into self-employment.

Frederik's work allows us to consider how business ideas, occupation, and policy affect the transition decision to leap from paid employment to self-employment. It also allows us to consider how different quantitative methods (laboratory experiments, multilevel survival models, data mining) may inform research on self-employment entry.

The dissertation studies the determinants of self-employment entry through an economics of entrepreneurship lens, and examines two sources of data: 7 years of employer–employee matched panel data, and a laboratory experiment. The results suggest that employees are more likely to take the leap to self-employment when they have their own business idea, and are employed in occupations with high wage variance, low mean wages, and low unemployment rates. These findings, based on randomized experiments, multilevel analysis, data mining, and model building, contribute to research on occupational choice, entrepreneurial decision making, and the mobility process into self-employment.

Frederik's supervisors are Frédéric Delmar and Simon C. Parker.