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Self-employment and subjective well-being

Martin Binder () and Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

No 411, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers from University of Goettingen, Department of Economics

Abstract: Self-employment contributes to employment growth and innovativeness and many individuals want to become self-employed due to the autonomy and exibility it brings. Using "subjective well-being" as a broad summary measure that evaluates an individual's experience of being self-employed, the chapter discusses evidence and explanations why self-employment is positively associated with job satisfaction, even though the self-employed often earn less than their employed peers, work longer hours and experience more stress and higher job demands. Despite being more satisfied with their jobs, the self-employed do not necessarily enjoy higher overall life satisfaction, which is due to heterogeneity of types of self-employment, as well as motivational factors, work characteristics and institutional setups across countries.

Keywords: self-employment; entrepreneurship; subjective well-being; job satisfaction; lifesatisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 J28 L26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-hap, nep-iue, nep-lma and nep-ltv
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