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The Pleasures and Pains of Self-Employment: A Panel Data Analysis of Satisfaction with Life, Work, and Leisure

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  • Peter van der Zwan

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Jolanda Hessels

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

  • Cornelius A. Rietveld

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)

Abstract

We investigate how a transition from paid employment to self-employment in the labor market influences life satisfaction. Furthermore, we consider the dynamics of work and leisure satisfaction because the balance between work and leisure is an important element of life satisfaction. Fixed-effects regressions using German Socio-Economic Panel data (1984-2012) reveal that switching to self-employment benefits life and work satisfaction. The effects on life satisfaction are weak and temporary, but they are pronounced and relatively persistent for work satisfaction. However, the gain in work satisfaction is outweighed by a decrease in leisure satisfaction, thus placing work-life balance under severe pressure.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter van der Zwan & Jolanda Hessels & Cornelius A. Rietveld, 2015. "The Pleasures and Pains of Self-Employment: A Panel Data Analysis of Satisfaction with Life, Work, and Leisure," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-099/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20150099
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-employment; Entrepreneurship; Life satisfaction; Work satisfaction; Work-life balance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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