Self-employment and Subjective Well-Being

Zimmermann, K. F. (ed., 2021), Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, Dordrecht: Springer

36 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2021

See all articles by Martin Binder

Martin Binder

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München; Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute

Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Date Written: January 02, 2021

Abstract

Self-employment contributes to employment growth and innovativeness and many individuals want to become self-employed due to the autonomy and flexibility 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, life satisfaction

JEL Classification: L26, J24, J28

Suggested Citation

Binder, Martin and Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin, Self-employment and Subjective Well-Being (January 02, 2021). Zimmermann, K. F. (ed., 2021), Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, Dordrecht: Springer, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3768347 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3768347

Martin Binder (Contact Author)

University of the German Federal Armed Forces - Universität der Bundeswehr München ( email )

Werner-Heisenberg-Weg 39
Neubiberg
Munich, 85579
Germany

Bard College - The Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States

Ann-Kathrin Blankenberg

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Wilhelmsplatz 1
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

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