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Job Satisfaction in Europe

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  • Namkee Ahn
  • Juan Ramón García

Abstract

Job satisfaction is an important part of overall life satisfaction among the working age population. We examine Western Europeans’ overall job satisfaction and the satisfaction levels in several job domains using the European Community Household Panel Survey (1994-2001). With respect to overall job satisfaction, wage is important. Yet, some other factors show equally or more important effects. For example, health turns out to be a single most important determinant of overall job satisfaction. Job match quality, contract type and job status are also important. With respect to the relationship between overall and job domain satisfaction, work type comes out as the most important job domain in all countries, followed by pay, working condition and job security. In analyzing determinants of each job domain satisfaction, we find some interesting results. Female workers declare higher pay satisfaction but lower work hour satisfaction, which are consistent with the hypothesis of low aspiration and greater non-market responsibility among women. Good job matches increase satisfaction levels in all job domains, but in particular with respect to pay and work type. Local unemployment rate has no effects on overall job satisfaction, but it has significant effects in two job domains, job security and work hours. Those in countries or times of high unemployment declare much lower satisfaction with job security, while they declare higher satisfaction with hours of work. Finally, even after controlling many variables which are responsible, directly and indirectly, for overall and each job domain satisfaction, there still remain large country fixed effects. Given the same observed worker and job characteristics, Austrian, Danish and Irish workers declare substantially higher satisfaction in all job domains than the workers in the Mediterranean countries.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2004-16.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2004-16

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  1. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Senik, Claudia & Van der Straeten, Karine, 2004. "Heterogeneity in Reported Well-Being: Evidence from Twelve European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1339, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Yew-Kwang, Ng, 1997. "A case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Departmental Working Papers _081, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  3. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Konow, James & Earley, Joseph, 2008. "The Hedonistic Paradox: Is homo economicus happier," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 1-33, February.
  5. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2001. "The Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction - Empirical Evidence and Theoretical Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 387, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," NBER Working Papers 7332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew Clark, . "Job Satisfaction and Gender. Why are Women so Happy at Work?," Economics Discussion Papers, University of Essex, Department of Economics 415, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Clark, Andrew E., 1999. "Are wages habit-forming? evidence from micro data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 179-200, June.
  11. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Skalli, Ali & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Vasileiou, Efi, 2008. "Jobs as Lancaster goods: Facets of job satisfaction and overall job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1906-1920, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Namkee Ahn & Juan Ramón García & José A. Herce, . "Demographic Uncertainty and Health Care Expenditure in Spain," Working Papers 2005-07, FEDEA.
  4. Josse Delfgaauw, 2005. "The Effect of Job Satisfaction on Job Search: Not just whether, but also where," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-097/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Inmaculada García & José Molina & María Navarro, 2007. "How Satisfied are Spouses with their Leisure Time? Evidence from Europe," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 546-565, December.
  6. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-42 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Simon Sosvilla-Rivero & Pedro N. Rodríguez, . "Linkages in international stock markets: Evidence from a classification procedure," Working Papers 2004-23, FEDEA.
  8. Kristensen, Nicolai & Johansson, Edvard, 2006. "New Evidence on Cross-Country Differences in Job Satisfaction Using Anchoring Vignettes," Working Papers 06-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.

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