The Importance of Being in Control of Business: Work Satisfaction of Employers, Own-Account Workers and Employees

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-047/VII

26 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2015

See all articles by Jolanda Hessels

Jolanda Hessels

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

José María Millán

Universidad de Huelva

Concepción Román

University of Huelva

Date Written: April 14, 2015

Abstract

Self-employed workers can be own-account workers who control their own work or employers who not only are their own boss but also direct others (their employees). We expect both types of self-employed, i.e., own-account workers and employers, to enjoy more independence in determining their work content (type of work) and more flexibility in shaping their work context (e.g., working conditions) compared to paid employees and hence to be more satisfied with their work. Furthermore, we suspect that employers (who can delegate work to their employees and can help them to develop and grow) enjoy even higher levels of work satisfaction compared to both own-account workers (who are their own boss but do not give direction to others) and (non-supervisory) paid employees (who have to obey orders from others within organizational hierarchies). While prior studies typically broadly compare the work satisfaction of self-employed and paid employees, we distinguish employers from own-account workers within the group of self-employed using data from the ECHP for 14 European countries. Our findings indeed show that employers are significantly more satisfied with their work than both own-account workers and paid employees. Additionally, while employers as well as own-account workers enjoy greater procedural utility than (non-supervisory) paid employees stemming from the content and the context of their work, there also seems to be an additional work satisfaction premium for employers.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, self-employment, employers, own-account workers, work satisfaction

JEL Classification: J24, J28, L26, O52

Suggested Citation

Hessels, Jolanda and Millán, José María and Román, Concepción, The Importance of Being in Control of Business: Work Satisfaction of Employers, Own-Account Workers and Employees (April 14, 2015). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-047/VII, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594327 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2594327

Jolanda Hessels (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

José María Millán

Universidad de Huelva ( email )

Plaza de la Merced 11
Huelva, Huelva 21071
Spain
+34959217886 (Phone)

Concepción Román

University of Huelva ( email )

Plaza de la Merced 11
Huelva, Huelva 21071
Spain
+34959217886 (Phone)

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