What is it about?

That female workers are more satisfied in their jobs is well known in the social sciences. This is despite the fact that women face much greater rates of labor market discrimination. Thus, this has led to a seeming 'paradox'. In this paper, we extend this analysis to see whether this paradox of higher female job satisfaction while wages are lower extends to the self-employed. Importantly, using a unique dataset on highly educated workers in the US, we can look at other aspects of work beyond hours and wages. We find that women in general, and self-employed women in particular are better than men at matching along these nonwage dimensions of work, which generates the higher levels of satisfaction.

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Why is it important?

The self-employed are an important part of the labor market and understanding why (some) workers are drawn to this kind of work is an important component to understanding self-employment. This paper gets at the heart of why men and women view self-employment differently.

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This page is a summary of: Self-employment and the paradox of the contented female worker, Small Business Economics, April 2016, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s11187-016-9731-z.
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