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The Bigger the Better? Business Size and Small-Business Owners’ Subjective Well-Being

Filip Fors Connolly (), Ingemar Johansson Sevä and Tommy Gärling
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Filip Fors Connolly: Umeå University
Ingemar Johansson Sevä: Umeå University
Tommy Gärling: University of Gothenburg

Journal of Happiness Studies, 2021, vol. 22, issue 3, No 4, 1088 pages

Abstract: Abstract Business growth is often portrayed as an important outcome for small-business owners. Few empirical studies have however examined whether there is a positive relationship between business size and different dimensions of small-business owners’ subjective well-being. In a large cross-sectional sample (n = 1089) of small-business owners from Sweden, we investigate the relationship between business size and the two main components of subjective well-being, life satisfaction and emotional well-being. By means of structural equation modelling, we determine the importance of business size for subjective well-being by focusing on potential advantages (financial satisfaction) and disadvantages (time pressure) related to business size. The results show that there is no overall relationship between business size and life satisfaction, but a weak negative relationship between business size and emotional well-being. However, in a subsequent mediation analyses we find that these findings largely can be explained by the fact that financial satisfaction and time pressure relate to subjective well-being in opposite directions and thus cancel each other out. The results of the mediation analysis also reveal differences across the two components of subjective well-being. We here find that financial satisfaction is more important for small-business owners’ life satisfaction while time pressure is more important for their emotional well-being.

Keywords: Self-employment; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Emotional well-being; Financial satisfaction; Time pressure; Business size (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10902-020-00264-2

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