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Self-Employment Rents : Evidence from Job Satisfaction Scores

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  • Kawaguchi, Daiji

Abstract

Previous studies have pointed to the existence of barriers at the entry of self-employed sectors, such as liquidity constraints. In many countries, policies are directed toward removing these barriers in order to promote entrepreneurial activity. This paper examines whether such barriers exist by examining the amount of rent enjoyed by self-employed workers; if there are no barriers between the self-employed sector and the salary/wage sector, self-employed workers should not enjoy rents. Examination of the rent associated with self-employment, however, cannot simply be accomplished by comparing the incomes of self-employed and salary/wage workers. This is because self-employed workers may enjoy higher utility due to their work environment, with such benefits as autonomy and flexibility of work schedules. To overcome the difficulty of measuring self-employment rents, I use self-reported job satisfaction from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 79 (NLSY79) to capture workers' overall satisfaction with their jobs. The results robustly indicate that self-employed workers are more satisfied with their jobs than salary/wage workers, even after allowing for the time-invariant individual heterogeneity in their reported job satisfaction. This result suggests that there are barriers at the entry into self-employment and that self-employed workers enjoy rents.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Hitotsubashi University in its journal Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 35-45

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Handle: RePEc:hit:hitjec:v:49:y:2008:i:1:p:35-45

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Keywords: Self-Employmen; Job Satisfaction;

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  1. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  2. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  3. Kawaguchi, D., 2001. "Human Capital Accumulation of Salaried and Self-Employed Workers," ISER Discussion Paper 0530, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
  7. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains in Britain: Evidence From Panel Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 2084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
  9. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
  10. Frijters, Paul, 2000. "Do individuals try to maximize general satisfaction?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 281-304, June.
  11. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Carrington, William J & McCue, Kristin & Pierce, Brooks, 1996. "The Role of Employer-Employee Interactions in Labor Market Cycles: Evidence from the Self-Employed," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 571-602, October.
  14. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Fairlie, Robert W. & Robb, Alicia, 2004. "Why Are Black-Owned Businesses Less Successful than White-Owned Businesses? The Role of Families, Inheritances, and Business Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 1292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Carmen Pages & Lucia Madrigal, 2008. "Is Informality a Good Measure of Job Quality? Evidence from Job Satisfaction Data," Research Department Publications 4603, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2010. "Life satisfaction and self-employment: A matching approach," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-20, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  4. Lechmann, Daniel S. J., 2013. "Can working conditions explain the return-to-entrepreneurship puzzle?," Discussion Papers 86, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  5. Karlan, Dean, 2012. "Behind the GATE Experiment: Evidence on Effects of and Rationales for Subsidized Entrepreneurship Training," Working Papers 95, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ken Miura & Hiromitsu Kanno & Takeshi Sakurai, 2012. "Livestock Transactions as Coping Strategies in Zambia: New Evidence from High-Frequency Panel Data," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-215, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  7. Hyytinen, Ari & Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Toivanen, Otto, 2011. "The return-to-entrepreneurship puzzle," MPRA Paper 30076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Miura, Ken & Kanno, Hiromitsu & Sakurai, Takeshi, 2011. "Livestock Transactions as Coping Strategies in Zambia:New Evidence from High-Frequency Panel Data," PRIMCED Discussion Paper Series 15, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

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