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Job Satisfaction of Wage and Self-Employed Workers. Do Job Preferences Make a Difference?

Abstract

A large body of the literature on job satisfaction concludes that self-employed workers enjoy higher levels of job satisfaction than their wage counterparts. In this article, we test this statement by including as an explanatory variable the preference of individuals for either type of employment. Using data drawn from 24,187 workers in the Spanish private sector, our results show that only self-employed workers report higher satisfaction levels than salaried employees when they actually display a preference for self-employment. Our conclusions posit that it is not self-employment per se, but being on the type of employment of preference (wage or self-employment) what contributes to explain the greater job satisfaction of self-employed workers when compared to employees. Additionally, our findings provide evidence on the lower level of satisfaction of reluctant entrepreneurs when compared to latent entrepreneurs. In other words, self-employed workers who prefer salaried employment are less satisfied than employees who report a preference for self-employment.

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Notes

  1. According to OECD data, self-employment rate is below 15 % in the majority of developed countries.

  2. The economic crisis in Spain has had a dramatic impact on the labor market. The number of jobs destroyed from 2008 to 2014 amounts to 3.1 million, boosting the unemployment rate from 11.3 % up to 24.4 %.

  3. F = 61.93 for labor choice; F = 118.56 for preference for wage employment or self-employment; and F = 420.90 for the interaction between both variables.

  4. They are not presented here for brevity.

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Correspondence to Begoña Cueto.

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Table 5 Descriptive statistics

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Cueto, B., Pruneda, G. Job Satisfaction of Wage and Self-Employed Workers. Do Job Preferences Make a Difference?. Applied Research Quality Life 12, 103–123 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-016-9456-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-016-9456-9

Keywords

  • Job satisfaction
  • Job preferences
  • Self-employment
  • Wage employment
  • Entrepreneurship