Heterogeneous self-employment and subjective well-being. Evidence from Latin America.

Alexandra Cortés Aguilar (Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia)
Teresa M. García Muñoz (Universidad de Granada, España)
Ana I. Moro-Egido (Universidad de Granada, España)

This paper analyzes the relationship between labor status and individual satisfaction in Latin America. Existing evidence for developed countries shows that the self-employed report higher job satisfaction than the employed. The evidence, however, is less conclusive in terms of lifesatisfaction. Moreover, for Latin American countries, the evidence shows that self-employed individuals report lower life-satisfaction than employed individuals do. To clarify the effect of selfemployment on satisfaction, we use the Latinobarómetro survey 2007 for eighteen Latin American and Caribbean countries, considering the category self-employment as a heterogeneous category.

Additionally, we control for the distinction between necessity and opportunity self-employed. Contrary to existing evidence, we find that not all self-employed individuals are more satisfied than employed individuals. Specifically, we find evidence revealing that, compared to workers in paid employment: (i) precarious self-employed workers are as satisfied as the employed with their life but less with job and household income; (ii) self-employed professionals are more satisfied than the employed only with their incomes; (iii) business owners are more satisfied with their lives, income and job; and (iv) self-employed famers and fisherman are less satisfied with their jobs and income.



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