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

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  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-42 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "Reported Job Satisfaction: What Does It Mean?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-09, CIRANO.
  4. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-30.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  6. 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.
  7. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Simple solutions to the initial conditions problem in dynamic, nonlinear panel data models with unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(1), pages 39-54.
  8. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  9. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "A panel data model for subjective information on household income growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 409-426, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Booth, A.L. & Ours, J.C. van, 2007. "Job Satisfaction And Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Problem," Discussion Paper 2007-69, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 341-372, December.
  13. Paolo Ghinetti, 2007. "The Public-Private Job Satisfaction Differential in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 361-388, 06.
  14. 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.
  15. AlisonL. Booth & JanC. vanOurs, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F77-F99, 02.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2000. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," IZA Discussion Papers 164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2007. "Reliability of job satisfaction measures," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 273-292, June.
  21. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2013. "Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 244-252.
  2. 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.
  3. Tabasso, Domenico, 2011. "Temporary Contracts and Monopsony Power in the UK Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. repec:cge:warwcg:129 is not listed on IDEAS

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