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The effect of reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differnences on public employee's job satisfaction

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  • Tepe, Markus
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    Abstract

    This study explores the determinants of public employees' job satisfaction. We are focusing on three concepts - reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differences - to explain job satisfaction and production sector affiliation. Estimation results obtained from multivariate analyses on individual level data from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (GSOEP) can be summarized in three points: First, in contrast to reciprocal motives, personality traits have a unique and direct effect on public and private sector employees' job satisfaction. Second, even though we cannot proof that public employees at the high-end of the earnings distribution trade a loss in pecuniary benefits against an increase in non-pecuniary benefits, the empirical analysis strongly supports the notion that public employees' job satisfaction function varies across the earnings distribution. Finally, public employees' personal characteristics can be associated with lower levels of negative reciprocity, conscientiousness and neuroticism, pointing out to a potential self-selection and recruitment bias in the public sector. -- Diese Studie untersucht die Determinanten der Arbeitszufriedenheit von Beschäftigten im öffentlichen Dienst. Wir konzentrieren uns auf drei Konzepte - reziprokes Verhalten, Persönlichkeitsmerkmale und Lohndifferenzen - um Arbeitszufriedenheit und Produktionssektorzugehörigkeit zu erklären. Die vorläufigen Ergebnisse der multivariaten Analyse auf Basis der Daten des Sozio-oekonomischen Panels (SOEP) 2005 können in drei Punkten zusammengefasst werden: Erstens, im Gegensatz zur Reziprozität, haben die Persönlichkeitsmerkmale einen distinkten und direkten Einfluss auf die Arbeitszufriedenheit im öffentlichen und privaten Sektor. Zweitens, wir finden systematische Variation in den Determinanten der Arbeitszufriedenheit öffentlich und privat Beschäftigter in Abhängigkeit von deren Position in der Lohneinkommensverteilung. Drittens, die empirische Analyse liefert Anhaltspunkte, dass Personen mit geringerer negativer Reziprozität, Gewissenhaftigkeit, Neurotizismus tendenziell eher im öffentlichen Sektor beschäftigt sind.

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    Paper provided by University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State in its series TranState Working Papers with number 131.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:131

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    1. Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cox, J. & Friedman, D. & Gjerstad, S., 2006. "A Trackable Model of Reciprocity and Fairness," Purdue University Economics Working Papers 1181, Purdue University, Department of Economics.
    3. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Sadiraj, Vjollca, 2009. "Revealed Altruism," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6rb5t4mc, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    4. Pollitt, Christopher & Bouckaert, Geert, 2004. "Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199268498, October.
    5. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
    6. Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling, 1998. "Does it pay to work in the public sector?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 347-374, November.
    7. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 592-612, 03.
    8. Thomas Cornelissen & John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Profit Sharing and Reciprocity: Theory and Survey Evidence," Research Papers in Economics 2010-04, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    9. Paolo Ghinetti & Claudio Lucifora, 2008. "Public Sector Pay Gaps and Skill Levels: a Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont 118, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
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