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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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  • Conti, Gabriella
  • Pudney, Stephen

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: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/working-papers/iser/2008-39.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2008-39.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2008
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-39

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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
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Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
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Web: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/publications/

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00203197 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "Reported Job Satisfaction: What Does It Mean?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-09, CIRANO.
  5. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  6. repec:ese:iserwp:2007-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. 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.
  8. Booth, Alison L. & van Ours, Jan C., 2007. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-time Work Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 3020, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergaard-Nielsen, 2007. "Reliability of job satisfaction measures," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 273-292, June.
  10. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  11. Das, J.W.M. & Soest, A.H.O. van, 1996. "A Panel Data Model for Subjective Information on Household Income Growth," Discussion Paper 1996-75, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  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. 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. Paolo Ghinetti, 2007. "The Public-Private Job Satisfaction Differential in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(2), pages 361-388, 06.
  17. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-42 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 1999. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 42, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. repec:cge:warwcg:129 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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