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Well-Being and Trust in the Workplace

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  • John Helliwell

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  • Haifang Huang

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Abstract

This paper summarizes and extends our recent work using life satisfaction regressions to estimate the relative values of financial and non-financial job characteristics. The well-being results show strikingly large values for non-financial job characteristics, especially workplace trust and other measures of the quality of social capital in workplaces. For example, an increase of trust in management that is about one tenth of the scale is equivalent to more than 30% increase in monetary income. We find that these values differ significantly by gender and by union status. We consider the reasons for such large values, and explore their implications for employers, employees, and policy-makers.
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Suggested Citation

  • John Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2011. "Well-Being and Trust in the Workplace," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 747-767, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:12:y:2011:i:5:p:747-767 DOI: 10.1007/s10902-010-9225-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stéphane Bonhomme & Grégory Jolivet, 2005. "The Pervasive Absence of Compensating Differentials," Working Papers 2005-28, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    2. Thomas Cornelißen, 2009. "The Interaction of Job Satisfaction, Job Search, and Job Changes. An Empirical Investigation with German Panel Data," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, pages 367-384.
    3. John F. Helliwell, 2006. "Well-Being, Social Capital and Public Policy: What's New?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages 34-45, March.
    4. StÈphane Bonhomme & GrÈgory Jolivet, 2009. "The pervasive absence of compensating differentials," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 763-795.
    5. Ernesto Villanueva, 2004. "Compensating wage differentials and voluntary job changes: Evidence from West Germany," Economics Working Papers 738, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. Bernard M. S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2005. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(500), pages 224-246, January.
    7. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
    8. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2004. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 439-459, September.
    9. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
    10. Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, pages 341-372.
    11. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-858, August.
    12. Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007. "Job disamenities, job satisfaction, quit intentions, and actual separations: putting the pieces together," MPRA Paper 3245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Federico, Giovanni & Nuvolari, Alessandro & Vasta, Michelangelo, 2017. "The Origins of the Italian Regional Divide: Evidence from Real Wages, 1861-1913," CEPR Discussion Papers 12358, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Laibson, David I. & Agarwal, Sumit & Driscoll, John C. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2009. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions over the Life-Cycle with Implications for Regulation," Scholarly Articles 4554335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Pawlowski, Tim & Downward, Paul & Rasciute, Simona, 2014. "Does national pride from international sporting success contribute to well-being? An international investigation," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 121-132.
    4. John F. Helliwell & Lara B. Aknin & Hugh Shiplett & Haifang Huang & Shun Wang, 2017. "Social Capital and Prosocial Behaviour as Sources of Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 23761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. S. Cicognani & M. Cioni & M. Savioli, 2016. "The secret to job satisfaction is low expectations: How perceived working conditions differ from actual ones," Working Papers wp1083, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Silvia Sacchetti & Ermanno Tortia, 2013. "Satisfaction with Creativity: A Study of Organizational Characteristics and Individual Motivation," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, pages 1789-1811.
    7. John Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2014. "Weekends and Subjective Well-Being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, pages 389-407.
    8. Matthew Hagler & Sherry Hamby & John Grych & Victoria Banyard, 2016. "Working for Well-Being: Uncovering the Protective Benefits of Work Through Mixed Methods Analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, pages 1493-1510.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Trust; Workplace; Job satisfaction; Compensating differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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