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Entrepreneurship and Subjective Well-Being: The Mediating Role of Psychological Functioning

Boris Nikolaev, Christopher Boudreaux and Matthew Wood

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 2020, vol. 44, issue 3, 557-586

Abstract: Well-being is an essential outcome of engagement in entrepreneurship, but the pathway from self-employment to well-being is poorly understood. To address this, we develop a model in which psychological functioning—purposeful engagement with life, realization of personal talents and capabilities, and fulfillment of intrinsic needs such as autonomy and competence—mediates the relationship between entrepreneurship and subjective well-being. We test our model with data from the European Social Survey using structural equation modeling and a series of robustness tests (e.g., propensity score matching estimators and accounting for model uncertainty). Results suggest that entrepreneurship is associated with substantial benefits in terms of psychological functioning—both personal and social—which almost entirely mediate the relationship between entrepreneurship and subjective well-being. These findings highlight psychological functioning as a critical pathway between entrepreneurship and subjective well-being.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; self-employment; subjective well-being; psychological functioning (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:entthe:v:44:y:2020:i:3:p:557-586

DOI: 10.1177/1042258719830314

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