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Do Higher Wages Come at a Price?

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  • Erling Barth
  • Alex Bryson
  • Harald Dale-Olsen

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data for Britain we find job satisfaction and job anxiety are negatively correlated but higher wages are associated with higher job satisfaction and higher job anxiety. However, we observe a positive association between higher wages and non-pecuniary job satisfaction, which disappears with the inclusion of our effort measures. Thus high effort levels provide high levels of non-pecuniary job satisfaction and higher wages, in contrast to what compensating wage differentials predicts. On the other hand, the positive association between wages and pay satisfaction and the positive association between wages and job anxiety are both robust to the inclusion of our effort measures and rich job controls. Mean wages of co-workers are positively associated with pay satisfaction but there is no significant association with non-pecuniary job satisfaction or job anxiety. Thus there is a positive spill-over to workers from being in a high-wage workplace and there is no support for the proposition that within-workplace wage differentials are a source of job anxiety.

Suggested Citation

  • Erling Barth & Alex Bryson & Harald Dale-Olsen, 2010. "Do Higher Wages Come at a Price?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1011, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1011
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    Cited by:

    1. Haile, Getinet & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2015. "Spillover effects of unionisation on non-members' wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 108-122.
    2. Bryson, Alex & Clark, Andrew E. & Freeman, Richard B. & Green, Colin P., 2016. "Share capitalism and worker wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-158.
    3. Melanie K. Jones & Paul L. Latreille & Peter J. Sloane, 2016. "Job Anxiety, Work-Related Psychological Illness and Workplace Performance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 742-767, December.
    4. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Antti Kauhanen & Mari Kangasniemi, 2016. "Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?," DoQSS Working Papers 16-16, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    5. Vermeer, Niels & Mastrogiacomo, Mauro & Van Soest, Arthur, 2016. "Demanding occupations and the retirement age," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 159-170.
    6. Jones, Melanie K & Latreille, Paul L & Sloane, Peter J, 2011. "NILS Working paper no 180. Job anxiety, work-related psychological illness and workplace performance," NILS Working Papers 26078, National Institute of Labour Studies.
    7. Getinet A. Haile, 2015. "Workplace Job Satisfaction in Britain: Evidence from Linked Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(3), pages 225-242, September.
    8. Rees, Daniel I. & Sabia, Joseph J., 2012. "Migraine Headache and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7034, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Kajonius, Petri J. & Carlander, Anders, 2017. "Who gets ahead in life? Personality traits and childhood background in economic success," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 164-170.
    10. Haile, Getinet Astatike & Bryson, Alex & White, Michael, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Union Status and Employee Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 7075, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Sevinç, Orhun, 2017. "Skill-biased technical change and Labor market polarization:the role of skill heterogeneity within occupations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86147, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Orhun Sevinc, 2017. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and Labor Market Polarization: The Role of Skill Heterogeneity Within Occupations," Discussion Papers 1728, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    worker wellbeing; job stress; job anxiety; job satisfaction; wages; compensating differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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