Self-employment and the Paradox of the Contented Female Worker

Keith A. Bender, Kristen Roche

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper

8 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


A large literature finds that the self-employed are more satisfied in their jobs. Interestingly, like in the wage and salary sector, ceteris paribus, self-employed women are found to have more satisfaction in their jobs than self-employed men, even though the gender wage differential is higher for the self-employed. This paper examines the so-called ‘paradox of the contented female worker’ for both sectors, focusing on the importance of certain job attributes and whether workers actually experience these attributes. Properly controlling for the gap between desiring and actually obtaining these attributes ‘explains’ the gender differential in job satisfaction of the self-employed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAberdeen
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen: Business School
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Publication series

NameDiscussion Paper in Economics
PublisherUniversity of Aberdeen
ISSN (Electronic)0143-4543


  • job satisfaction
  • self-employment
  • gender differences
  • job attributes


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