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Comparing levels of job satisfaction in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe

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  • Vani K. Borooah

Abstract

Purpose - This paper aims to provide a comparison of job satisfaction levels between countries of Western and Eastern Europe by first examining the extent of difference between the two sets of countries and then explaining these differences in terms of differences in job characteristics between the countries. Design/methodology/approach - The methodology employed is to use the estimates from an ordered logit model to decompose the probability of being at a particular level of satisfaction into its “attributes” and “coefficients” parts. The empirical foundation for the study is provided by data for over 20,000 employed respondents, pertaining to the year 2000, obtained from the 1999-2002 Values Survey Integrated Data File. Findings - Compared to East European countries, job satisfaction levels were considerably higher in West European countries. Moreover, there was considerably greater inequality in the distribution of job satisfaction in East European, compared to West European, countries. Job satisfaction depended critically on the constellation of job-related attributes that employees regarded as being “important”. The greater the weight that one placed on the external aspects of a job – pay, holidays, promotion chances etc. – the more likely one was to be dissatisfied. The greater the weight one placed on the internal aspects of a job – responsibility, usefulness, social interaction – the more likely one was to be satisfied. Practical implications - The methodology and conclusions will be useful to labour economists and to human resource managers. Originality/value - The reason that West European countries have higher levels of job satisfaction, compared to East European countries could, in part, be because they are better endowed with the “attributes” that promote job satisfaction; it could also, in part, be due to the “coefficient responses” of workers in West European countries, to a given set of attributes, being more conducive to job satisfaction than the corresponding responses of workers in East European countries. This paper estimates the relative importance of attributes and coefficients in determining differences in levels of job satisfaction between the two sets of countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Vani K. Borooah, 2009. "Comparing levels of job satisfaction in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 304-325, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:30:y:2009:i:4:p:304-325
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    Cited by:

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    2. Marek Franěk & Hana Mohelská & Václav Zubr & Pavel Bachmann & Marcela Sokolová, 2014. "Organizational and Sociodemographic Determinants of Job Satisfaction in the Czech Republic," SAGE Open, , vol. 4(3), pages 21582440145, September.
    3. Vani Borooah & Anastasios Katos & Eleni Katsouli, 2013. "Inter-country differences in voter satisfaction with the democratic process: a study of world elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 569-584, December.
    4. Lucía Mateos-Romero & María del Mar Salinas-Jiménez, 2018. "Labor Mismatches: Effects on Wages and on Job Satisfaction in 17 OECD Countries," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 369-391, November.
    5. Stephan Humpert, 2010. "A Note on Happiness in Eastern Europe," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 133-144.
    6. Susan J. Linz & Anastasia Semykina, 2012. "What Makes Workers Happy? Anticipated Rewards and Job Satisfaction," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 811-844, October.
    7. Benno Torgler, 2011. "Work Values in Western and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 2011.94, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Ekaterina Skoglund, 2017. "The happiness gap between transition and non-transition countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 357-357, May.
    9. Humpert, Stephan, 2013. "A Note on Satisfaction with Life, Government and Job: The Case of Eastern Europe," MPRA Paper 45449, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. García-Pérez, Carmelo & Prieto-Alaiz, Mercedes & Simón, Hipólito, 2020. "Multidimensional measurement of precarious employment using hedonic weights: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 348-359.
    11. Borooah, V. & Mangan, J., 2011. "Floreat Scuola: An International Analysis of Parental Satisfaction with Schools," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(3).
    12. Gennaro Punzo & Rosalia Castellano & Mirko Buonocore, 2018. "Job Satisfaction in the “Big Four” of Europe: Reasoning Between Feeling and Uncertainty Through CUB Models," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 205-236, August.
    13. Hauff, Sven & Richter, Nicole Franziska & Tressin, Tabea, 2015. "Situational job characteristics and job satisfaction: The moderating role of national culture," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 710-723.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job satisfaction; Equal opportunities; Job specification; Western Europe; Eastern Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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