Working Paper No. 1243

Well-being Effects of Self-employment: A Spatial Inquiry

Published: October 30, 2018Pages: 45Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Well-being; Self-employment; Urban-rural; Neighbourhood effectsJEL-codes: E24; I13; L26; P25; R20; R23

Well-being Effects of Self-employment: A Spatial Inquiry Maria Abreu, Özge Öner, Aleid Brouwer and Eveline van Leeuwen


Our paper presents an empirical analysis of entrepreneurial well-being using a large-scale longitudinal household survey from the UK that tracks almost 50,000 individuals across seven waves over the period 2009–2017, as well as a number of exploratory case studies. We contribute to the existing literature by investigating how entrepreneurial well-being varies across locations along the urban-rural continuum, and across wealthy-deprived neighbourhoods.

We use a Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) approach to compare the well-being outcomes of individuals who switch into self-employment from waged employment, and show that entrepreneurial well-being, in the form of job satisfaction, is significantly higher for those living in semi-urban locations, relative to those living in urban and rural locations.

We argue that semi-urban locations provide an optimal combination of ease of doing business and quality of life. Our results also show that individuals in wealthy neighbourhoods who switch into self-employment experience higher job satisfaction than otherwise comparable individuals living in materially deprived neighbourhoods, although the latter experience greater levels of life satisfaction following the switch.

 

Özge Öner

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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