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Public policy leading to poverty among self-employed, Kingston Business School professor warns in awarding-winning paper

Friday 03 February 2017

Prof John Kitching accepts an award at the 2017 RENT conferenceProfessor John Kitching’s paper, entitled 'Is Public Policy to Blame for Poverty Self-employment?' focuses on the income of self-employed workers and questions the commonly held premise that the rising number of people working for themselves in the United Kingdom is necessarily a good thing for individuals or the national economy.

The paper won the International Small Business Journal Best Paper Award, which was presented to Prof Kitching at this year's European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship's (ECSB) annual RENT conference.

Prof Kitching's research, undertaken within Kingston Business School's Small Business Research Centre, investigates the role of policy in creating low-paid work among the self-employed and leads to the conclusion that it should carry some of the blame for the poverty being created within this section of the workforce.

Professor Kitching warned that public regimes – including regulatory, fiscal and monetary policies – inevitably influenced how people traded with their customers and suppliers. "This can then severely impact on their ability to make an adequate living for their families," he explained. "Policy, therefore, is at fault because it leads to low incomes and poverty for those who are self-employed."

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