Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=475140
 
 

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The Value of Autonomy: Evidence from the Self-Employed in 23 Countries


Matthias Benz


University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Bruno S. Frey


CREMA; Zeppelin University


Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working Paper No. 173

Abstract:     
The self-employed are substantially more satisfied with their work than employed persons. We document this relationship for 23 countries and show that the higher job satisfaction can directly be attributed to the greater autonomy that self-employed persons enjoy. "Being your own boss" seems to provide non-pecuniary benefits from work that point to the existence of procedural utility: autonomy is valued beyond outcomes as a good decision-making procedure. The results hold not only for Western European, North American and former communist Eastern European
countries, but largely also for countries with a non-western cultural background.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: self-employment, autonomy, job satisfaction, procedural utility

JEL Classification: D00, M54, J23, J81, L22

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Date posted: January 4, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Benz, Matthias and Frey, Bruno S., The Value of Autonomy: Evidence from the Self-Employed in 23 Countries. Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working Paper No. 173. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=475140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.475140

Contact Information

Matthias Benz (Contact Author)
University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )
Zuerich, 8006
Switzerland
Bruno S. Frey
CREMA ( email )
Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
Zeppelin University ( email )
Am Seemooser Horn 20
Friedrichshafen, Lake Constance 88045
Germany
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