Satisfaction and Self-employment: Do Men or Women Benefit More from Being Their Own Boss?

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2020-10
Authors
Maguire, Karen
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Copyright 2020 Eastern Economic Association
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Winters, John
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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Abstract
This paper uses individual self-reported life satisfaction data to analyze the relationship between self-employment and subjective well-being by gender and race. We document substantial heterogeneity, with women appearing to benefit the most from self-employment. Self-employed women have significantly higher rates of being very satisfied relative to both traditionally employed women and self-employed men. We also find that the self-employed have higher rates of dissatisfaction, and this adverse relationship with self-employment is most pronounced for minorities. These nuanced findings broaden our understanding of the relationship between self-employment and subjective well-being and have important implications for both researchers and policymakers.
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JEL Codes: I10, I31, J2

This is a manuscript of an article published as Maguire, K., Winters, J.V. Satisfaction and Self-employment: Do Men or Women Benefit More from Being Their Own Boss?. Eastern Econ J 46, 576–602 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41302-020-00169-1. Posted with permission.
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