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The impact of gender differences on determinants of job satisfaction among Chinese off-farm migrants in Jiangsu


Author Info

  • Russell Smyth
  • Qingguo Zhai
  • Xiaoxu Li


This study examines the effect of own income versus reference group income and the subjective factors considered important in a job for a sample of off-farm migrants in China. We find that own income has a positive effect on job satisfaction while the effect of reference group income is gender specific. We find evidence that males experience a tunnelling effect (higher income co-workers increase their job satisfaction) while females experience a jealousy effect (higher income co-workers lower their job satisfaction). We explain this result in terms of men reacting more positively in competitive environments and that, in China, males have better prospects for promotion. We find that compared with employees in western countries, off-farm migrants in China place much more emphasis on income and less importance on collegiality and job stability.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 363-380

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jocebs:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:363-380

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Keywords: China; migrants; job satisfaction;


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Cited by:
  1. Wenshu Gao & Russell Smyth, 2009. "Job Satisfaction And Relative Income In Economic Transition: Status Or Signal? The Case Of Urban China," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 12-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  2. Maarten Bavinck & Richard Pollnac & Iris Monnereau & Pierre Failler, 2012. "Introduction to the Special Issue on Job Satisfaction in Fisheries in the Global South," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 109(1), pages 1-10, October.


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