The paper explores the different forms of self-employment in Italy beginning with the most important changes since the early ‘90s. In the context of overall stability, entrepreneurial self-employment has reduced in number and weight while individual forms of self-employment have increased. The trend is due both to new forms of employment on the border between dependent employment and self-employment (the collaboration contract in the Italian labour market) and to the progressive failing of substantial autonomy in the other traditional forms of self-employment (i.e. solo self-employed, economically dependent free lance professionals). In the post-industrial and the new global capitalist context, the widening area between dependent employment and self-employment (parasubordination) and the shrinking occupational basis of the Italian traditional entrepreneurial model are together the likely indicator of the difficult transition to a model of development facing the challenges of innovation.
Keywords: Self-employment, service contracts, economically dependent selfemployment, quasi-employee, post-industrial development, labour market