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Estimates of the Effect of Wages on Job Satisfaction

  • Arnaud Chevalier
  • Reamonn Lydon

Empirical studies on job satisfaction have relied on two hypotheses: firstly, that wages are exogenous in a job satisfaction regression and secondly, that appropriate measures of relative wage can be inferred. In this paper we test both assumptions using two cohorts of UK university graduates. We find that controlling for endogeneity, the direct wage effect on job satisfaction doubles. Several variables relating to job match quality also impact on job satisfaction. Graduates who get good degrees report higher levels of job satisfaction, as do graduates who spend a significant amount of time in job search. Finally we show that future wage expectations and career aspirations have a significant effect on job satisfaction and provide better fit than some ad-hoc measures of relative wage.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0531.

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Date of creation: May 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0531
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  2. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  3. Louis Lévy-Garboua & Claude Montmarquette, 2004. "Reported job satisfaction : What does it mean?," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00203197, HAL.
  4. Battu, H. & Belfield, C. R. & Sloane, P. J., . "Overeducation Among Graduates: A Cohort View," Working Papers 98-03, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
  5. Clark, A.E., 1995. "Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women so Happy at Work?," DELTA Working Papers 95-10, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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  7. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
  8. Biddle, Jeff E & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1998. "Beauty, Productivity, and Discrimination: Lawyers' Looks and Lucre," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 172-201, January.
  9. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  10. Charles T. Clotfelter & Michael Rothschild, 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot93-1, August.
  11. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 1999. "Job satisfaction and preference drift1," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 363-367, June.
  12. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  13. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  14. Newey, Whitney K., 1987. "Efficient estimation of limited dependent variable models with endogenous explanatory variables," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 231-250, November.
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