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The effect of self-employment on health: Evidence from longitudinal social security data

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  • Judite Goncalves
  • Pedro S. Martins

Abstract

The growth of novel flexible work formats raises a number of questions about their effects upon health and the potential required changes in public policy. However, answering these questions is hampered by lack of suitable data. This is the first paper that draws on comprehensive longitudinal administrative data to examine the impact of self-employment in terms of health. It also considers an objective measure of health -hospital admissions- that is not subject to recall or other biases that may affect previous studies. Our findings, based on a representative sample of over 100,000 individuals followed monthly from 2005 to 2011 in Portugal, indicate that the likelihood of hospital admission of self-employed individuals is about half that of wage workers. This finding holds even when accounting for a potential self-selection of the healthy into self-employment. Similar results are found for mortality rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Judite Goncalves & Pedro S. Martins, 2018. "The effect of self-employment on health: Evidence from longitudinal social security data," Working Papers 88, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:88
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    File URL: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/pmartins/CGRWP88.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Roy Thurik, 2014. "Entrepreneurship and the business cycle," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-90, October.
    2. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2010. "Causes and consequences of early-life health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(1), pages 65-85, March.
    3. Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Employment protection and effort among German employees," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 353-357, December.
    4. Pedro S. Martins, 2015. "Working to get fired? Regression discontinuity effects of unemployment benefit eligibility on prior employment duration," Working Papers 61, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    5. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, March.
    6. Cornelius A. Rietveld & Hans Kippersluis & A. Roy Thurik, 2015. "Self‐Employment and Health: Barriers or Benefits?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(10), pages 1302-1313, October.
    7. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    8. Zissimopoulos, Julie M. & Karoly, Lynn A., 2007. "Transitions to self-employment at older ages: The role of wealth, health, health insurance and other factors," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 269-295, April.
    9. Hessels, Jolanda & Rietveld, Cornelius A. & van der Zwan, Peter, 2017. "Self-employment and work-related stress: The mediating role of job control and job demand," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 178-196.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employment; hospitalization; sick leave; mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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