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Health of entrepreneurs versus employees in a national representative sample


should be addressed to Ute Stephan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculty of Business and Economics, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium (e-mail:


Prior research has found entrepreneurs to experience significantly higher job control and job demands compared with employees. This suggests that entrepreneurs have so-called active jobs and thus may benefit from positive health consequences. The present research compared entrepreneurs' health with employees' health in a national representative sample with regard to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD-10) diagnoses of somatic diseases, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) diagnoses of mental disorders, blood pressure, well-being (life-satisfaction) as well as behavioural health indicators (sick days, physician visits). Entrepreneurs showed significantly lower overall somatic and mental morbidity, lower blood pressure, lower prevalence rates of hypertension, and somatoform disorders, as well as higher well-being and more favourable behavioural health indicators. The results are discussed with regard to the active job hypothesis and recommendations for future research are provided.