Understanding Society Scientific Conference 2019 - , University of Essex

Is the relationship between time in self-employment and job satisfaction linear? A longitudinal analysis of the job satisfaction of men and women

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Day:Tue 2 Jul
  • Nikolaos Litsardopoulos, Kingston University

Previous research suggests that self-employed individuals display higher levels of job-satisfaction compared to their wage-employed counterparts. In this paper we argue that this relationship is more complex than previously suggested. Using a large-scale dataset from the Understanding Society survey (waves 1-8), we examine the effect of previous waves in self-employment (Self-Emp) compared to wage-employment (Wage-Emp) on individuals’ job satisfaction levels, and the effects of switching to Self-Emp or Wage-Emp. Capturing the effect of consecutive and non-consecutive self-employment spells on job satisfaction as the ratio of total employment experience, we estimate an Ordered Probit model for a mix-gender sample, as well as, men and women separately. We find that the proportion of time spent in self-employment positively impacts job satisfaction (P<0.001), but in a nonlinear fashion. Individuals who have split their time between wage employment and self-employment are the most satisfied. This effect is above and beyond the positive job satisfaction impact associated with the honeymoon effect of a transition into a new employment status. Switching to Self-Emp was significant for the mix-gender model (P<0.001) and for men (P<0.01), but not for women. Moreover, comparing the separate analyses based on the samples of men and women we identify the presence of significant gender effects influencing the association between job satisfaction and self-employment (i.e. number of children, socioeconomic class, and industry).