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Retaining the Thin Blue Line: What Shapes Workers' Willingness Not to Quit the Current Work Environment

  • Martin Gächter
  • David A. Savage
  • Benno Torgler

The purpose of this study is to investigate the determinants of police officersÕ willingness to quit their current department. For this purpose, we work with US survey data that covers a large set of police officers of the Baltimore Police Department in Maryland. Our results indicate that more effective cooperation between units, a higher trust in the work partner, a higher level of interactional justice and a higher level of work-life-balance reduces police officersÕ willingness to quit the department substantially. On the other hand, higher physical and psychological stress and the experience of traumatic events are not, ceteris paribus, correlated with the willingness to leave the department. It might be that police officers accept stress as an acceptable factor in their job description.

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Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2009-28.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2009-28
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  1. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Does Job Satisfaction Improve the Health of Workers?: New Evidence Using Panel Data and Objective Measures of Health," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 76, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
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  3. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A Re-Examination of the Relationship between Union Membership and Job Satisfaction," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
  4. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Randy Hodson, 2005. "Management Behaviour as Social Capital: A Systematic Analysis of Organizational Ethnographies," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(1), pages 41-65, 03.
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  7. Benno Torgler & Sascha Schmidt, 2007. "What shapes player performance in soccer? Empirical findings from a panel analysis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(18), pages 2355-2369.
  8. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2005. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Remain in the Military," IZA Discussion Papers 1636, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Swatt, Marc L. & Gibson, Chris L. & Piquero, Nicole Leeper, 2007. "Exploring the utility of general strain theory in explaining problematic alcohol consumption by police officers," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 596-611, December.
  10. Benno Torgler, 2003. "Why do people go to war?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 261-280.
  11. Shields, Michael & Ward-Warmedinger, Melanie, 2001. "Improving Nurse Retention in the National Health Service in England: The Impact of Job Satisfaction on Intentions to Quit," CEPR Discussion Papers 2806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Michael White & Stephen Hill & Patrick McGovern & Colin Mills & Deborah Smeaton, 2003. "'High-performance' Management Practices, Working Hours and Work-Life Balance," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 175-195, 06.
  13. Stotland, Ezra, 1991. "The effects of police work and professional relationships on health," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 371-379.
  14. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The Determinants of Labor Absence: Economic Factors and Workgroup Norms across Countries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
  15. Boix, Carles & Posner, Daniel N., 1998. "Social Capital: Explaining Its Origins and Effects on Government Performance," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(04), pages 686-693, October.
  16. Fehr, Ernst & Gachter, Simon, 1998. "Reciprocity and economics: The economic implications of Homo Reciprocans1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 845-859, May.
  17. Woolcock, Michael & Narayan, Deepa, 2000. "Social Capital: Implications for Development Theory, Research, and Policy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 15(2), pages 225-49, August.
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