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Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine these concerns and evaluate the use of job satisfaction (and other subjective variables) in labor market analysis. The main theme is that, while there are good reasons to treat subjective variables gingerly, the answers to questions about how people feel toward their job are not meaningless but rather convey useful information about economic life that should not be ignored. The paper begins with a brief description of the satisfaction questions on major worker surveys, and then considers the use of satisfaction as an independent and as a dependent variable. Satisfaction is shown to be a major determinant of labor market mobility, in part it is argued because it reflects aspects of the work place not captured by standard objective variable8. Satisfaction is also found to depend anomolously on some economic variables (such as unionism) in ways that provide insight into how those factors affect people.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0225 Note: LS
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    1. F. A. Lutz, 1940. "The Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 36-63.
    2. McCulloch, J Huston, 1971. "Measuring the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 19-31, January.
    3. McCulloch, J Hutson, 1975. "The Monte Carlo Cycle in Business Activity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(3), pages 303-321, September.
    4. McCulloch, J Huston, 1977. "The Monte Carlo Hypothesis: Reply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 618-618, October.
    5. McCulloch, J Huston, 1975. "An Estimate of the Liquidity Premium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(1), pages 95-119, February.
    6. Buse, A, 1970. "Expectations, Prices, Coupons and Yields," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(4), pages 809-818, September.
    7. Savin, N Eugene, 1977. "A Test of the Monte Carlo Hypothesis: Comment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 15(4), pages 613-617, October.
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