Why and When Are the Self-Employed More Satisfied with Their Work?

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Abstract

Analysis confirms that the self-employed are more satisfied with their jobs because their work provides more autonomy, flexibility, and skill utilization and greater job security. These underlying mechanisms have been stable over the last 30 years and are not due simply to personality differences. The self-employed job satisfaction advantage is relatively small or nonexistent among managers and members of the established professions—occupations where organizational workers have relatively high autonomy and skill utilization.

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