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IfM-Materialien | 2020 The income situation of the self-employed and their capability of retirement provision

We examine German administrative tax data and find that six in ten self-employed individuals obtain annual incomes of less than 10,000 Euro with their entrepreneurial activity. However, many of these self-employed achieve additional incomes or partners contribute to household income. The self-employed are thus not necessarily unable to save for retirement despite low incomes from entrepreneurial activity. Besides, our results show that incomes from self-employment fluctuate over time so that periods with low incomes might be followed by periods with higher incomes. Our analysis is suggestive that most of the self-employed are able to save for retirement.


Peter Kranzusch
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Dr. Stefan Schneck
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Hans-Jürgen Wolter
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