Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Aging
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Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Aging

Edited by Mikaela Backman, Charlie Karlsson and Orsa Kekezi

Many developed countries are facing a demographic change with an increasing share of older individuals, yet little is known about how older workers will impact regional and national economies in terms of labor market dynamics. This Handbook deals with the important and emerging field of entrepreneurship among this group and focuses on the behavioral perspectives of this phenomenon; on innovation, dynamics and performance; and the ways entrepreneurship among the elderly looks within different countries.
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Chapter 11: Old age self-employment and work-related stress

Jolanda Hessels and Peter van der Zwan


We analyze work-related stress levels of older self-employed workers and compare their stress levels with those of older wageworkers and younger self-employed workers. Our multivariate analysis using longitudinal data for the years 2005–15 indicates that the older self-employed have the lowest stress levels. Using the Job Demand-Control (JDC) model we assess to what extent these lower stress levels can be explained by the following job characteristics: job demand, job control, social support and possibilities for the development of skills at the job. We find that the lower stress levels of the older (versus the younger) self-employed are partly explained by the lower job demands of the older self-employed. Furthermore, higher job control of the older self-employed is a major driver behind the lower levels of work stress of the older self-employed workers compared with the older wageworkers. Also, lower levels of job demand and higher levels of social support of the older self-employed partly explain that the older self-employed experience less work stress than older wageworkers.

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