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If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands! Survey design and the analysis of satisfaction

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  • Gabriella Conti
  • Stephen Pudney

Abstract

Surveys differ in the way they measure satisfaction and happiness, so comparative research findings are vulnerable to distortion by survey design differences. We examine this using the British Household Panel Survey, exploiting its changes in question design and parallel use of different interview modes. We find significant biases in econometric results, particularly for gender differences in attitudes to the wage and hours of work. Results suggest that the common empirical finding that women care less than men about their wage and more about their hours may be an artifact of survey design rather than a real behavioural difference.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP016.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in its series Working Papers with number 016.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:016

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Related research

Keywords: Satisfaction; measurement error; questionnaire design; BHPS;

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References

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  1. Booth, Alison L & van Ours, Jan C, 2007. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  3. Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1996. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-121740, Tilburg University.
  4. LEVY-GARBOUA, Louis & MONTMARQUETTE, Claude, 1997. "Reported Job Satisfaction : What Does It Mean?," Cahiers de recherche 9705, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," NBER Working Papers 7332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Shields, Michael A & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2002. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(274), pages 295-26, May.
  7. Mark P. Taylor, 2006. "Tell me why I don't like Mondays: investigating day of the week effects on job satisfaction and psychological well-being," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(1), pages 127-142.
  8. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  9. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2000. "Well-being at work: a cross-national analysis of the levels and determinants of job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 517-538, November.
  10. Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2007. "Reliability of job satisfaction measures," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 273-292, June.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  12. George A. Akerlof & Andrew K. Rose & Janet L. Yellen, 1988. "Job Switching and Job Satisfaction in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 495-594.
  13. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  14. Paolo Ghinetti, 2007. "The Public-Private Job Satisfaction Differential in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 361-388, 06.
  15. Matthias Benz, 2005. "Not for the Profit, but for the Satisfaction? - Evidence on Worker Well-Being in Non-Profit Firms," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 155-176, 04.
  16. Michael Rose, 2005. "Job Satisfaction in Britain: Coping with Complexity," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 455-467, 09.
  17. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  18. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-42 is not listed on IDEAS
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Wunder & Guido Heineck, 2012. "Working Time Preferences, Hours Mismatch and Well-Being of Couples: Are There Spillovers?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 471, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Berry, Mary O'Neill & Reichman, Walter & Klobas, Jane & MacLachlan, Malcolm & Hui, Harry C. & Carr, Stuart C., 2011. "Humanitarian work psychology: The contributions of organizational psychology to poverty reduction," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 240-247, March.
  3. Smith, Jennifer C, 2013. "Pay Growth, Fairness and Job Satisfaction: Implications for Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 130, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  4. Smith, Jennifer C, 2013. "Pay Growth, Fairness and Job Satisfaction : Implications for Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1009, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. repec:cge:warwcg:129 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Domenico Tabasso, 2011. "Temporary Contract and Monopsony Power in the UK Labour Market," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

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