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conference contributionposted on 11.11.2021, 04:19 authored by Chandravadan ShahChandravadan Shah
Youth unemployment or underemployment are ‘wicked’ problems all around the world. They lead to a poor start in the working life of young people in terms of future income, housing, health and wellbeing and retirement income. Self-employment and youth entrepreneurship have been proposed as part of a suite of measures to address these problems. These two terms have different meanings depending on the context as not all self-employment can be considered an entrepreneurial activity. Self-employment is often the predominant form of work in most developing countries, not from choice but due to necessity. There is increasing youth self-employment in the rapidly expanding ‘gig’ or digital platform economy which pervades most countries. Many argue that much of the work arrangements between the platforms and workers can be characterised as ‘forced’ self-employment and is of concern in many countries, some of which have responded with regulation and legislation. Youth self-employment is thus highly contextual requiring varied public policy responses. This paper briefly describes what we know about youth self-employment and possible issues that public policy should address.