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Job Satisfaction And Relative Income In Economic Transition: Status Or Signal? The Case Of Urban China

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  • Wenshu Gao
  • Russell Smyth

Abstract

We use two datasets for urban China to examine whether an increase in reference group income lowers or increases job satisfaction. The former is consistent with a status effect ??? an increase in the income of others lowers my satisfaction because I feel jealous. The latter is consistent with a signal effect ??? an increase in the income of others might make me jealous, but it also provides an information signal about my future prospects. When we use a single item indicator of job satisfaction we find no support for a status or signal effect; however, when we use a psychometrically valid instrument to measure job satisfaction, we find some support for the existence of a status effect. We consider the components of job satisfaction through which the status effect operates. We find that the status effect operates through satisfaction with co-workers, operating procedures, pay and supervision.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Monash University, Department of Economics in its series Development Research Unit Working Paper Series with number 12-09.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mos:druwps:2009-12

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Keywords: Job satisfaction; Relative income; Urban China.;

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Cited by:
  1. Selezneva, Ekaterina, 2011. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: Income, work, family," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 139-157, June.
  2. Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 5480, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Linz, Susan J. & Chu, Yu-Wei Luke, 2013. "Weber, Marx, and work values: Evidence from transition economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 431-448.
  4. Mare Codruta & Dragos Cristian & Popa Irimie Emil & Span Georgeta Ancuta, 2012. "A Statistical Approach Of Perceptions Of Master Accountancy Graduates Concerning Early Career Experiences," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 944-948, July.
  5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00564985 is not listed on IDEAS

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