Self-employment across 15 European countries: the role of dissatisfaction
This paper deals with differences in the rate of self-employment (business ownership) in 15 European countries for the period 1978-2000, focusing on the influence of dissatisfaction and using the framework of occupational choice. Using two different measures of dissatisfaction, in addition to the level of economic development, the unemployment rate and income differentials, we find that dissatisfaction at the level of societies is the most significant factor for explaining differences in self-employment levels. Dissatisfaction with life and with the way democracy works are both found to be positively related to self-employment. It is concluded that these are proxies for job dissatisfaction and at the same time represent other negative 'displacements' known to promote self-employment.
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