Aim of this paper is to shed light on how some determinants, especially in the spheres of family background, differently affect the heterogeneous category of selfemployment across four transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Czech Republic,Hungary, Poland and Slovak Republic),wheremore or less restrictive policies towards start-ups have been implemented during the pre-1989 years, different liberalization processes have gradually been carried out and distinct policy interventions to support self-employment have been adopted in the post-1989 period. At this end, threestage structural multinomial logit models as discrete choice models are estimated on 2005 EU-SILC data, which also allows to account for generational changes over time. Country-specific profiles of self-employment are drawn and, even though the selfemployment is often devised in a dualist perspective, which stresses itsmarginal nature as refuge from poverty rather than a way to accumulate capital, significant differentiations within the ranks of self-employed also exist.
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