آیا خود اشتغالی کمک به شاد بودن ملی می کند؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|27402||2012||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5504 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 41, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 670–676
Recent studies showed that self-employment impacts individual happiness either positively or negatively. Rather than considering the happiness effects at the individual level, we assess whether self-employment effects spread and impact the domestic happiness beyond the involved individuals. We distinguish a direct effect of self-employment on life satisfaction and an indirect effect through the impact of self-employment on per capita income and the subsequent impact of income on life satisfaction. Using panel data analysis for 15 OECD countries over a period of 18 years, we investigate empirically whether countries with higher levels of self-employment are happier, by disentangling the two previously mentioned effects. We remedy the potential endogeneity problem when estimating the indirect effect by instrumenting the self-employment rate. The main finding is a significant and negative direct effect which is larger in magnitude than the indirect effect, resulting in an overall negative effect of self-employment on the domestic happiness.
Does self-employment make people happier? Recently, a burgeoning body of literature using the concept of ‘procedural utility’ showed that self-employed individuals generally display higher level of job satisfaction and in certain cases higher level of life satisfaction (Benz and Frey, 2004 and Blanchflower and Oswald, 2004). Without negating the value of these analyses, most contributions studied the effect of self-employment on the involved individuals but without considering the possibility of effects affecting people beyond the self employed individuals. Moreover, most studies used data relative to a particular economy rather data related to several countries overtime. We aim at filling these gaps by (i) assessing whether self-employment generate happiness effects beyond the self employed individuals (ii) using panel data of 15 OECD countries covering the period 1990–2007 to investigate more rigorously the relationship between self-employment and subjective well-being in nations. We provide a rigorous examination of the relationship between self-employment and happiness at the country level. We consider two distinct mechanisms by which self-employment may influence happiness. The first or ‘direct’ mechanism refers to the direct impact of self-employment on happiness. The ‘indirect’ mechanism refers to the impact of self-employment on per capita income which in turn influences happiness in nations (Clark and Oswald, 1996, Frey and Stutzer, 2002 and Blanchflower and Oswald, 2004). As far as we know, previous studies have ignored this second effect, which is more likely to play a significant role in low-income countries. We argue that the total effect of self-employment on happiness results from these two effects. The main contribution of this paper is to quantify the direct and indirect effects of self-employment on happiness in nations, by using a database of 15 OECD countries over a period of 17 years. Beyond the quantified effects described above, we contend that self-employment is likely to influence average happiness in countries in several ways. Self-employment is frequently described as a mean per se, which allows individual to achieve his/her own dreams instead of working to accomplish his/her employer's dreams. Self-employment can confer to individuals a sense of pride and feelings of accomplishment ( Di Tella et al., 2001). As such, self-employed individuals are supposed to be happier. It seems logical to hypothesize that the more numerous they are in a whole country population, the higher the average happiness in a country will be. 2 Moreover, Fowler and Christakis (2008) found that the effect of one's happiness on other people's happiness is positive. More precisely, people who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to become happy in the future. These authors conclude that happiness is, like health, a collective phenomenon rather than an individual one. This consolidates our view that the effects of self-employment on happiness go beyond the self-employed themselves and can spill-over to the rest of the population. Besides, we argue that happiness effects of self-employment could go beyond the implied individuals and spread across the population in that it would generate a general climate of trust, suggesting that the society offers to its citizens true opportunities of self-accomplishment. Even if people do not take steps to become self-employed, having the choice is usually considered as a way to increase individual subjective well-being ( Sen, 1988). Even if benefits of self-employment are popular, several scholars stressed some drawbacks of self-employment. Indeed, entrepreneurs are generally categorized either as ‘push’ or ‘pull’. The push category is related to individuals who are basically dissatisfied with their current situation for reasons unrelated with their entrepreneurial characteristics. They generally lack the abilities and skills to turn a venture idea into a viable business. Brockhaus (1982) emphasizes that a large number of them wish to start a business even without having a concrete product or service idea. If they are numerous, these push and ‘necessity entrepreneurs’ will directly increase the proportion of unhappy individuals in a nation and can reflect a general dissatisfaction. Moreover, there are other rationales that support a negative effect of self-employment on life satisfaction. Indeed, good family relationships, a major source of life satisfaction, may be negatively influenced by entrepreneurial activities, especially at the starting of a new business. Indeed, these activities can be very time consuming and occur generally at the expense of valuable family time. By analysing the overall effect of self-employment on domestic happiness, our contribution is three-fold. First, given that self-employment and entrepreneurship are frequently considered as a panacea for economic growth and politically encouraged,3 it seems legitimate to question the effect of entrepreneurship on the overall happiness in countries. Does the presumed goodness of self-employment for domestic growth and individuals’ happiness spread and contribute to increase the average happiness in the considered countries? Indeed, we consider happiness not at the (self-employed) individual level but at the aggregate level, i.e., the averaged national level of happiness. The findings should interest policymakers by questioning popular self-employment encouragement policies. Second, the use of a panel data analysis allows us to question robustness of previous studies at a cross-national level and overtime. Third, our analysis adds empirical evidence regarding the mixed results found in the literature regarding the effects of self-employment on happiness. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 examines the previous literature on the relationship between self-employment and happiness, while Section 3 describes the methodology used within this paper. Section 4 is devoted to the results and their discussion. Section 5 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Thanks to a detailed empirical examination of the effects of self-employment on happiness, we found that self-employment has an overall negative direct effect on happiness. Self-employment was also estimated to have an indirect impact on happiness which stems from the relationship between self-employment and per capita income. This relationship was found to be significant and negative even when self-employment was instrumented as a determinant of income. The indirect impact of self-employment on happiness is estimated to be negative for two of three specifications we used. For the different specifications, the direct effect is larger in magnitude than the indirect effect leading to an overall negative result. Consequently the overall effect of self-employment on happiness is negative. Even if the negative effect of self-employment on income seems at first glance surprising, it makes sense especially when considering several studies casting doubts on the benefits of self-employment. For example, Reynolds et al. (2002) argue that necessity entrepreneurship is related to poverty and does not create wealth. Acs (2006) goes further and proposes that the distinction between opportunity and necessity entrepreneurship as an indicator of economic development. GEM studies (General Entrepreneurship Monitoring) also support this negative relationship between income and self-employment by showing that levels of self-employment in developing countries are generally higher than those in the developed countries. In aggregate, the results of our study demonstrate that a self-employment increase does not necessarily entail an increase, neither in happiness nor in income. This shed doubts then on the widely held beliefs on the virtues of self-employment as a mean of economic growth and driver of well-being for societies. The mechanism underpinning this negative effect on happiness may result from the fact that countries having low levels of happiness are also those that are most affected by unemployment which constrained individuals to be self-employed. This necessity entrepreneurship seems to induce unhappiness. Another possible explanation of the overall negative effect of self-employment on happiness may be due to the definition of self-employed population itself. Indeed, farmers known for their vulnerability (e.g., phytosanitary and predator attacks, climatic conditions), are included in the self-employed population. This category of self-employed may reflect a precarious situation rather than an evidence of an entrepreneurial spirit. Hence the high proportion of farmers in certain OECD economies may inflate the proportion of unhappy self-employed. Alike Block and Koellinger (2009), we contend that policies promoting entrepreneurial activity should not “force” the unemployed into self-employment but rather focus on how to create a favourable environment where entrepreneurship is fully chosen. Rather than adopting a ‘one-size-fits-all’ pro-entrepreneurship, policies can target subgroups of the population who are more likely to perceive self-employment as a full choice and not as a constrained one (e.g., young people arriving on the labour market rather than unemployed who were previously salaried employees). By highlighting that the promotion of self-employment could be detrimental, our results stress the necessity to moderate the tendency of supporting any form of enterprise creation. The results of our study are also very relevant in the context of developing countries. These countries often face endemic unemployment at the same time they are engaged in economic liberalisation. These countries seem to have no other means to resolve unemployment but through the encouragement of business creation. By showing that increasing self-employment rate, does not automatically imply more prosperity, developing countries may be cautioned to adjust their priorities. In this context, balancing the negative effects of both self-employment and unemployment emerges as a difficult and bitter task.