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Job satisfaction, working conditions and job-expectations


  • Ambra Poggi


According to Sen’s capability approach, objective working conditions can be seen as functionings (i.e. things experienced by the individuals). The corresponding capability set includes all sets of alternatives working conditions existing in the society for a given kind of job. Observing the existing capability set of working conditions, individuals formulate expectations about their own working conditions. These expectations might create biases in the realistic perceptions of job satisfaction. Our aim is to study the determinants of worker perceptions of quality of work in EU Countries. In particular, we shed light on the complex relationship that exists between job satisfaction, objective working conditions and workers expectations. First, we determine which objective working conditions impact on the level of job satisfaction. Second, we test the existence, and the signs, of biases in the realistic perception of job satisfaction due to the existence of expectations. Third, we test if expectations are affected by the working conditions actually experienced in the job place. From a technically point of view, we estimate a two-tiered stochastic frontier model. We find that expectations biases exist. High expectations have stronger effects in reducing job satisfaction than low expectation in increasing job expectations. Finally, expectations are affected by the working conditions actually experienced by the workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ambra Poggi, 2008. "Job satisfaction, working conditions and job-expectations," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 73, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wplabo:73

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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolai Suppa, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Subjective Well-Being in Australia – A Capability Approach Perspective," Ruhr Economic Papers 0388, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Suppa, Nicolai, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Subjective Well-Being in Australia – A Capability Approach Perspective," Ruhr Economic Papers 388, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0388 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Parties Matter in Allocating Expenditures: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 652, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Job satisfaction; working conditions; expectations; two-tiered stochastic frontier model.;

    JEL classification:

    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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