The purpose of this paper is to test whether the usual positive effect of self-employment on job satisfaction remains once the greater autonomy and flexibility afforded by self-employment have been factored in, as well as the existence of differences in unobserved characteristics across individuals.
It may be thought that the probability of being self-employed and the declared job satisfaction are not independent from each other due to differences in unobserved characteristics – as psychological or personality traits – across individuals. Therefore, self-employment should be treated as an endogenous variable when it is introduced as an explanatory variable in a job satisfaction equation. Given this, the paper proposes the estimation of a treatment effect model in which self-employment and job satisfaction equations are estimated jointly.
The results suggest that the usual positive effect of self-employment on job satisfaction is due to the greater work autonomy afforded by self-employment, and not to the greater willingness of the self-employed to report higher levels of satisfaction. Thus, the paper finds that once flexibility and autonomy are considered, the usual positive effect of self-employment on job satisfaction disappears and becomes negative.
It would be useful further empirical analysis using other data, especially panel data, to test the robustness of the results.
The paper proposes an alternative way to analyse the relation between self-employment and job satisfaction by taking into account both the greater autonomy and flexibility afforded by self-employment, as well as psychological or personality traits.
Álvarez, G. and I. Sinde-Cantorna, A. (2014), "Self-employment and job satisfaction: an empirical analysis", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 35 No. 5, pp. 688-702. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-11-2012-0169
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