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Higher educated workers: better jobs but less satisfied?

Author

Listed:
  • Elsy Verhofstadt
  • Hans De Witte
  • Eddy Omey

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to clarify the mixed empirical results concerning the association between educational level and job satisfaction. It seeks to test whether the positive relationship between educational level and job satisfaction is caused by indicators of job quality. Design/methodology/approach - Three models are estimated. In the first model, the impact of the educational level on job satisfaction is examined using an ordinal regression analysis. The second model estimates the impact of the educational level on indicators of job quality, using the appropriate technique (OLS or binary logit). The third model reveals the “true” impact of the educational level on job satisfaction, when the job quality indicators are added as independent variables. Survey data on Flemish youth in their first job are used. Findings - The results show that higher educated workers are more satisfied than their lower educated counterparts, because they have a job of better quality. When one controls for all job characteristics, a negative relationship appears, with higher educated workers reporting less job satisfaction. Research limitations/implications - The hypothesis is only tested for a sample of Flemish youth in their first job (cross-sectional data). Practical implications - Future empirical studies on job satisfaction should include indicators for job quality, in order to reveal the true effect of educational level on job satisfaction. Investing in the job quality of lower educated young workers might boost their job satisfaction and as a consequence also their productivity. Originality/value - Suggests that the diverging results concerning the relationship between educational level and job satisfaction could be due to insufficient control for indicators of job quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Elsy Verhofstadt & Hans De Witte & Eddy Omey, 2007. "Higher educated workers: better jobs but less satisfied?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(2), pages 135-151, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:28:y:2007:i:2:p:135-151
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Blázquez, Maite & Herrarte, Ainhoa & Llorente-Heras, Raquel, 2018. "Competencies, occupational status, and earnings among European university graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 16-34.
    2. Inmaculada García-Mainar & Víctor M. Montuenga-Gómez, 2020. "Over-Qualification and the Dimensions of Job Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 147(2), pages 591-620, January.
    3. José Manuel Lasierra & José Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2016. "How does work management improve job satisfaction? Evidence from Spain," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(2), pages 1202-1213.
    4. Enzo Valentini, 2012. "Giving Voice To Employees And Spreading Information Within The Firm: The Manner Matters," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 2(4), pages 1-7, August.
    5. Haverkamp, Katarzyna & Sölter, Anja & Kröger, Janbernd, 2009. "Humankapitalbildung und Beschäftigungsperspektiven im Handwerk," Göttinger Handwerkswirtschaftliche Studien, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh), volume 79, number 79.

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