The aim of this study is to examine the difference in cost-benefit considerations between the self-employed workers (in Dutch: ‘zelfstandige zonder personeel’) and employees with a permanent contract in receiving formal education. Incentives like ‘career opportunities’ and ‘certification’ to participate in formal education will be included as mediation, because it is expected that the difference between self-employed workers and permanent employees can be explained by this. Furthermore, it is expected that as someone gets older, the person becomes less sensitive to these ‘incentives’. Therefore, in the current study it is also expects that age influences the difference between self-employed workers and permanent employees in the cost-benefit considerations for attending formal education. Predictions are made based on the ‘human capital theory’ (Becker, 1962) and the ‘screening theory’ (Stiglitz, 1975). There has been a discussion within the social research field to what extent self-employed workers would lag behind in ‘lifelong learning’. Due to the lack of empirical studies on self-employed workers, the contribution of this study is to shed a light on the underexposed research population ‘self-employed workers’. The permanent employees will be used as frame of reference. The analysis is based on a quantitative method while performing a binary logistic regression and linear regression. ‘Arbeidsmarkt van de toekomst’ from 2017 is used as a dataset that holds a sample of Dutch self-employed and employees (valid n = 3,120). Findings show that the self-employed workers are not significantly related to ‘specific training’ and ‘formal education’. Additionally, partial support was found for the mediating effect of ‘certification’ on the relationship between the self-employed workers and ‘formal education’. Finally, partial support was also found for the moderating effect of ‘age’ on both mediations.

Cost-benefit, Formal education, Human capital, Screening, Self-employed workers
prof.dr. P. Mascini, dr. J.F.A. Braster
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Veen, M. van. (2019, August 4). Volgen zzp’ers wel genoeg formele educatie?. Sociology. Retrieved from