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Self-employment and Health: Barriers or Benefits?

Author

Listed:
  • Cornelius A. Rietveld

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Hans van Kippersluis

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • A. Roy Thurik

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

This discussion paper resulted in a publication in 'Health Economics' , 2015, 24(10, 1302-1313. The self-employed are often reported to be healthier than wage workers; however, the cause of this health difference is largely unknown. The longitudinal nature of the US Health and Retirement Study allows us to gauge the plausibility of two competing explanations for this difference: a contextual, causal effect of self-employment on health (benefit effect), or a health-related selection of individuals into self-employment (barrier effect). Our main finding is that the selection of comparatively healthier individuals into self-employment accounts for the positive cross-sectional difference. The results rule out a positive contextual effect of self-employment on health, and we present tentative evidence that, if anything, engaging in self-employment is bad for one's health. Given the importance of the self-employed in the economy, these findings contribute to our understanding of the vitality of the labor force.

Suggested Citation

  • Cornelius A. Rietveld & Hans van Kippersluis & A. Roy Thurik, 2013. "Self-employment and Health: Barriers or Benefits?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-129/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20130129
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Till Stowasser & Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2011. ""Healthy, Wealthy and Wise?" Revisited: An Analysis of the Causal Pathways from Socioeconomic Status to Health," NBER Chapters,in: Investigations in the Economics of Aging, pages 267-317 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521728355, March.
    3. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    4. Carl Magnus Bjuggren & Dan Johansson & Mikael Stenkula, 2012. "Using self-employment as proxy for entrepreneurship: some empirical caveats," International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 17(3), pages 290-303.
    5. Peter Zwan & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul & Jolanda Hessels, 2016. "Factors influencing the entrepreneurial engagement of opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs," Eurasian Business Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 6(3), pages 273-295, December.
    6. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899604, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Goncalves, Judite & Martins, Pedro S., 2018. "The Effect of Self-Employment on Health: Evidence from Longitudinal Social Security Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11305, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Rietveld, Cornelius A. & Bailey, Henry & Hessels, Jolanda & van der Zwan, Peter, 2016. "Health and entrepreneurship in four Caribbean Basin countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 84-89.
    3. Dhahri, Sabrine & Omri, Anis, 2018. "Entrepreneurship contribution to the three pillars of sustainable development: What does the evidence really say?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 64-77.
    4. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9843-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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.
    6. Eric Delattre & Richard Moussa & Mareva Sabatier, 2015. "Health condition and job status interactions: Econometric evidence of causality from a French longitudinal survey," THEMA Working Papers 2015-19, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; HRS; selection; self-employment;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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