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

Author

Listed:
  • Luis Diaz-Serrano

    (National University of Ireland Maynooth, IZA and CREB)

  • Jose A. Cabral Vieira

    (University of the Azores and CEEAplA)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Diaz-Serrano & Jose A. Cabral Vieira, 2005. "Low-pay higher pay and job satisfaction within the European Union: empirical evidence from fourteen countries," Economics Department Working Paper Series n1560405, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n1560405
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job satisfaction; job quality; low-wage employment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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