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Low-pay higher pay and job satisfaction within the European Union: empirical evidence from fourteen countries

  • Luis Diaz-Serrano

    ()

    (National University of Ireland Maynooth, IZA and CREB)

  • Jose A. Cabral Vieira

    ()

    (University of the Azores and CEEAplA)

We examine differences in job satisfaction between low- and higher-paid workers within the European Union (EU). To do so The European Community Household Panel Data covering the period 1994-2001 is used. Then we test for differences in reported job satisfaction between low- and higher-paid workers. We also explain the existence of differences in the determinants of job satisfaction between these two types of workers and across countries. Our results indicate that low paid workers report a lower level of job satisfaction when compared with their higher paid counterparts in most countries, except in the UK. This supports the idea that low-wage employment in these countries mainly comprises low quality. The results also indicate that gap in average job satisfaction between low- and higher-paid workers is markedly wider in the Southern European countries than in the rest of EU. Finally, there are significant differences in the determinants of job satisfaction across countries. It seems then that a homogeneous policy may be inappropriate to increase satisfaction, and hence labour productivity, in the EU as a whole. Hence, an improvement of the quality of the jobs in the EU may require different policies. In particular, in some countries such as the United Kingdom removing low employment, namely through regulation, may worsen the workers’ well-being, although in other cases such a policy may lead to a totally different outcome.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth in its series Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series with number n1560405.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1560405
Contact details of provider: Postal: Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Phone: 353-1-7083728
Fax: 353-1-7083934
Web page: http://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/economics-finance-and-accounting

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  12. Stewart, Mark B & Swaffield, Joanna K, 1999. "Low Pay Dynamics and Transition Probabilities," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(261), pages 23-42, February.
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  14. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2000. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," IZA Discussion Papers 164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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