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The (Unexpected) Structure of "Rents" on the French and British Labour Markets


  • Clark, Andrew E.

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Senik, Claudia

    () (Paris School of Economics)


This paper considers the allocation of labour on the French and British markets, using objective wage and subjective satisfaction data. We show that, in some sectors, workers enjoy both higher wages and higher job satisfaction. We argue that this reflects labour market wage rents. Perhaps surprisingly, wage rents are typical of the British public sector and permanent contracts, but not of their French counterparts. In France, such rents are found in full-time, rather than part-time jobs. Hence, the data provide little support for the usual a priori that the French labour market is structured along insider-outsider model lines, whereby wage rents are captured by the insiders of the public sector to the detriment of the private sector. However, they do suggest that part-time employment is involuntary to a far greater extent in France than in Great Britain.

Suggested Citation

  • Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2004. "The (Unexpected) Structure of "Rents" on the French and British Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 1438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1438

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2004. "The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1671-1688, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florencia Lopez Boo & Lucia Madrigal & Carmen Pages, 2010. "Part-Time Work, Gender and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from a Developing Country," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(9), pages 1543-1571.
    2. Andrew E. Clark, 2005. "Your Money or Your Life: Changing Job Quality in OECD Countries," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 377-400, September.
    3. Andrew Clark & Nathalie Colombier & David Masclet, 2008. "Never the same after the first time: the satisfaction of the second-generation self-employed," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(7), pages 591-609, November.
    4. Clark, Andrew E., 2009. "Work, Jobs and Well-Being across the Millennium," IZA Discussion Papers 3940, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Fernández-Kranz, Daniel & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2011. "The part-time pay penalty in a segmented labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 591-606, October.
    6. Cornelissen, Thomas & Heywood, John S. & Jirjahn, Uwe, 2011. "Performance pay, risk attitudes and job satisfaction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 229-239, April.
    7. AlisonL. Booth & JanC. vanOurs, 2008. "Job Satisfaction and Family Happiness: The Part-Time Work Puzzle," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 77-99, February.
    8. Fernández, Rosa M. & Nordman, Christophe J., 2009. "Are there pecuniary compensations for working conditions?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 194-207, April.
    9. Hélène Garner & Dominique Méda & Claudia Sénik, 2006. "La place du travail dans les identités," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 393(1), pages 21-40.
    10. Rubia R. Valente & Brian J. L. Berry, 2016. "Working Hours and Life Satisfaction: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Latin America and the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1173-1204, June.
    11. Robin Zoutenbier, 2014. "The Impact of Matching Mission Preferences on Well-being at Work," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-036/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. Robin Zoutenbier, 2016. "The impact of matching mission preferences on well-being at work," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 295-315, August.
    13. repec:tiu:tiucen:200769 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Antonio Di Paolo, 2012. "(Endogenous) occupational choices and job satisfaction among recent PhD recipients: evidence from Catalonia," Working Papers XREAP2012-21, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Dec 2012.
    15. Delfgaauw, Josse, 2007. "The effect of job satisfaction on job search: Not just whether, but also where," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 299-317, June.
    16. Skalli, Ali & Theodossiou, Ioannis & Vasileiou, Efi, 2008. "Jobs as Lancaster goods: Facets of job satisfaction and overall job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1906-1920, October.
    17. Ambra Poggi, 2007. "Do Satisfactory Working Conditions Contribute to Explaining Earning Differentials in Italy? A Panel Data Approach," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(4-5), pages 713-733, December.
    18. Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, 2011. "Europeans Work to Live and Americans Live to Work (Who is Happy to Work More: Americans or Europeans?)," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 225-243, April.
    19. repec:dgr:kubcen:200769 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Ndamsa Dickson Thomas & Baye Mendjo Francis & Epo Boniface Ngah, 2013. "Responsiveness of Private Sector Household Income to Employment Vulnerability in Cameroon," EuroEconomica, Danubius University of Galati, issue 1(32), pages 153-177, May.
    21. Yannis Georgellis & Elisabetta Iossa & Vurain Tabvuma, 2008. "Crowding Out Public Service Motivation," CEDI Discussion Paper Series 08-07, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.

    More about this item


    public sector; self-employment; wages; job satisfaction; permanent; full-time; rents;

    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General
    • 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
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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