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Do Preferences for Job Attributes Provide Evidence of 'Hierarchy of Needs'

Author

Listed:
  • Cem Baslevent

    (Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University)

  • Hasan Kirmanoğlu

    (Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University)

Abstract

We examine whether employees’ preferences for various job attributes are associated with their individual characteristics in ways that are in line with ‘hierarchy of needs’ theories. Using data from the fifth round of the European Social Survey, we observe the influence of socio-demographic and dispositional characteristics as well as socialization experiences on opinions regarding the importance of five different desirable job attributes. An item-by-item examination of the attributes (including ‘security’ and ‘offering a high income’) reveals that dispositional factors (measured using the battery of items in Schwartz’s theory of basic personal values) influence job attitudes in expected ways, but employees also tend to place more importance on attributes that concern them more directly. For example, while female employees care more about being able to combine work and family responsibilities, younger workers value training opportunities more highly than older ones. Regarding socialization experiences, we find that job security is more important for those who have been unemployed in the past. We interpret our findings to mean that hierarchy of needs theories are valid in the context of job attitudes in the sense that the ranking of preferred job attributes is quite predictable once individual characteristics are accounted for.

Suggested Citation

  • Cem Baslevent & Hasan Kirmanoğlu, 2012. "Do Preferences for Job Attributes Provide Evidence of 'Hierarchy of Needs'," Working Papers 201201, Murat Sertel Center for Advanced Economic Studies, Istanbul Bilgi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:msc:wpaper:201201
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    File URL: http://repeck.bilgi.edu.tr/RePEc/msc/wpaper/mscenter_2012_01_Baslevent__Kirmanoglu_-_Do_Preferences_for_Job_Attributes_Provide_Evidence_of_Hierarchy.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Duncan Gallie & Helen Russell, 2009. "Work-Family Conflict and Working Conditions in Western Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 93(3), pages 445-467, September.
    2. Bryson, Alex & Gomez, Rafael, 2003. "Why have workers stopped joining unions?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20022, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sattinger, Michael, 1998. "Statistical Discrimination with Employment Criteria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(1), pages 205-237, February.
    4. Michael Hagerty, 1999. "Testing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: National Quality-of-Life Across Time," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 249-271, March.
    5. H. Whitt Kilburn, 2009. "Personal Values and Public Opinion," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(4), pages 868-885, December.
    6. Heckman, James J & Borjas, George J, 1980. "Does Unemployment Cause Future Unemployment? Definitions, Questions and Answers from a Continuous Time Model of Heterogeneity and State Dependence," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 47(187), pages 247-283, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    preferred job attributes; hierarchy of needs; basic personal values; European Social Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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