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Topic of the paper is the development of professional self-employment during the last decades in Germany. The discussion is divided into a theoretical and an empirical section. The first theoretical part deals with the term entrepreneurship and asks for its overlapping with categories of self-employment and of innovation. Although these terms cover only partially the same meanings, political discourse often equals the slogan to foster entrepreneurship and innovation with an increase of self-employment. The second section of the paper is concerned with concrete investigation of development patterns of occupational self-employment since the beginning of the 1990th until 2006 based upon microcensus data for Germany.
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