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Job Satisfaction and the Labor Market Institutions in Urban China


  • Heywood, John S.

    () (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

  • Siebert, W. Stanley

    () (University of Birmingham)

  • Wei, Xiangdong

    () (Lingnan University)


The determinants of worker job satisfaction are estimated using a representative survey of three major cities in China. Legally segregated migrants, floaters, earn significantly less than otherwise equivalent non-migrants but routinely report greater job satisfaction, a finding not previously reported. We confirm a positive role for membership in the communist party but find that it exists only for non-migrants suggesting a club good aspect to membership. In contrast to earlier studies, many controls mirror those found in western democracies including the "paradox of the contented female worker."

Suggested Citation

  • Heywood, John S. & Siebert, W. Stanley & Wei, Xiangdong, 2009. "Job Satisfaction and the Labor Market Institutions in Urban China," IZA Discussion Papers 4254, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4254

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xiong, Ailun & Li, Hongyi & Westlund, Hans & Pu, Yongjian, 2017. "Social networks, job satisfaction and job searching behavior in the Chinese labor market," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-15.
    2. Alexander Newman & Ingrid Nielsen & Russell Smyth & Angus Hooke, 2015. "Examining the Relationship Between Workplace Support and Life Satisfaction: The Mediating Role of Job Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(3), pages 769-781, February.

    More about this item


    job satisfaction; internal migrants; party membership; China;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption

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