German panel data is used to show that the decrease in life satisfaction caused by an increase in the probability of losing work is higher when self-employed than when paid employed. Further estimations reveal that becoming unemployed reduces self-employed workers´ satisfaction considerably more than salaried workers´ satisfaction. These results indicate that losing self-employment is an even more harmful life event than losing dependent employment. Monetary and non-monetary reasons seem to account for the difference between the two types of work. Moreover, it originates from the process of losing self-employment and the consequences of unemployment rather than from advantages of self-employment.
life satisfaction self-employment probability of losing work unemployment