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On preferences for being self-employed

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  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola

Abstract

The concept of procedural utility assumes that agents not only receive utility from outcomes but also attach an independent value to the procedures that lead to these outcomes. This paper analyzes whether the preferences that underlie procedural utility are homogeneous using the case of independence at the workplace. I exploit the event of German reunification to assign preferences for independence to respondents without using data on occupational choice or directly reported procedural preferences. I find that the self-employed report higher job satisfaction than the employed, even after controlling for income and hours worked. However, there is a significant amount of heterogeneity in this effect: while "independent types" experience a large increase in job satisfaction from being self-employed, the most "hierarchical types" could even experience a decrease.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs-Schündeln, Nicola, 2009. "On preferences for being self-employed," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 162-171, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:71:y:2009:i:2:p:162-171
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Binder, 2017. "Entrepreneurial Success and Subjective Well-Being: Worries about the Business Explain One's Well-Being Loss from Self-Employment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 947, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Tåg, Joacim & Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2016. "Hierarchies and entrepreneurship," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 129-147.
    3. Kuehn, Zoe, 2012. "Migration, Wages, and Parental Background: Obstacles to Entrepreneurship and Growth in East Germany," MPRA Paper 49250, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Benz, Matthias & Frey, Bruno S., 2008. "The value of doing what you like: Evidence from the self-employed in 23 countries," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 445-455, December.
    5. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2013. "Life satisfaction and self-employment: a matching approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1033, May.
    6. Wim Naudé & José Ernesto Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2011. "‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations," Working Papers 2011/07, Maastricht School of Management.
    7. Jirjahn, Uwe & Mohrenweiser, Jens, 2013. "Active owners and the failure of newly adopted works councils," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Stefan Schneck, 2012. "Revisiting Procedural Utility: Evidence from European Survey Data," EconStor Preprints 57929, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    9. Fossen, Frank M., 2012. "Risk attitudes and private business equity," Discussion Papers 2012/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    10. Ingemar Johansson Sevä & Stig Vinberg & Mikael Nordenmark & Mattias Strandh, 2016. "Subjective well-being among the self-employed in Europe: macroeconomy, gender and immigrant status," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 239-253, February.

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