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Life satisfaction and self-employment in different types of occupations

Jolanda Hessels, Efstratia Arampatzi, Peter van der Zwan and Martijn Burger

Applied Economics Letters, 2018, vol. 25, issue 11, 734-740

Abstract: In this research, we investigate whether a positive relationship between life satisfaction and self-employment (versus paid employment) exists while simultaneously considering two occupational dimensions: white-collar versus blue-collar work and high-skilled versus low-skilled work. Using Eurobarometer data for a large number of European countries (2008–2012), our findings confirm that self-employed workers are more satisfied with their lives than paid employees are. A life satisfaction premium is also found when the self-employed and paid employees are compared within similar occupations in terms of collar type and skill level. Finally, self-employment can help to overcome low life satisfaction scores associated with blue-collar and low-skilled work.

Date: 2018
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