What makes a good job? Evidence from OECD countries
Empirical labour economics largely considers that wages and hours of work are sufficient indicators of job quality. Using information on 14000 workers in 19 OECD countries it is shown that, first, workers actually say that wages and hours are amongst the least important characteristics of a job. Second, using information on 14 types of job outcomes, there is evidence of matching: workers who say that promotion is important have jobs with greater promotion opportunities, for example. Third, overall job satisfaction is strongly correlated with all of the job outcome variables, suggesting that it picks up a wide variety of only rarely-measured job characteristics. Fourth, jobs with better outcomes are held by women, older workers, and non-union workers (as typically found in job satisfaction analysis). Last, subjective evaluations of income and hours (considering one's income to be high, and wanting to change hours of work) have a strong significant impact on job satisfaction, even controlling for their objective counterparts.
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