IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measures of Job Satisfaction: What Makes a Good Job? Evidence from OECD Countries


  • Andrew E. Clark


Most taxonomies of "good jobs" and "bad jobs" are centred around pay and hours of work. This paper uses uses information on 7 000 workers in OECD countries (emanating from the 1989 wave of the International Social Survey Programme) to complement traditional measures of job quality with workersupplied information regarding a wide variety of characteristics of the current job. The responses to twenty different questions are collapsed into six summary variables measuring workers’ evaluations of: Pay; Hours of work; Future Prospects (promotion and job security); How hard or difficult the job is; Job content: interest, prestige and independence; and Interpersonal relationships (with co-workers and with management). An advantage of asking workers about these job attributes is that many of them, such as interpersonal relationships, job interest and job difficulty, are not measurable in the way that income and hours are. Another is that items may not have a linear relationship ...

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Clark, 1998. "Measures of Job Satisfaction: What Makes a Good Job? Evidence from OECD Countries," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 34, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:34-en
    DOI: 10.1787/670570634774

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. P.N. (Raja) Junankar & Stéphane Mahuteau, 2005. "Do Migrants Get Good Jobs? New Migrant Settlement in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages 34-46, August.
    2. Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja), 2013. "Is there a Trade-off between Employment and Productivity?," IZA Discussion Papers 7717, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Justin Mgbechi Odinioha Gabriel & L. I. Nwaeke, 2014. "An Empirical Critique of the Association of Organizational Justice and Lecturers’ Quality of Work-Life in Nigeria," International Journal of Management Sciences, Research Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 3(10), pages 774-787.
    4. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Bagley, Michael N., 2000. "Modeling employees' perceptions and proportional preferences of work locations: the regular workplace and telecommuting alternatives," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 223-242, May.
    5. Susan J. Linz & Anastasia Semykina, 2012. "What Makes Workers Happy? Anticipated Rewards and Job Satisfaction," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 811-844, October.
    6. Lina María Restrepo Plaza & Paula Andrea Rivas Oyuela, 2013. "La calidad del empleo para los hombres y las mujeres: un estudio desde la informalidad, el subempleo y las percepciones," Revista Equidad y Desarrollo, Universidad de la Salle, March.
    7. Trevisan, Elisabetta, 2007. "Job Security and New Restrictive Permanent Contracts. Are Spanish Workers More Worried of Losing Their Job?," Working Papers 07-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. Aslı ERMİŞ-MERT, 2020. "A Multivariate Investigation of Overall Happiness, Job Satisfaction and Income Satisfaction of Women and Men in Turkey," Sosyoekonomi Journal, Sosyoekonomi Society, issue 28(44).
    9. Kim, Tae Hyun & Han, Euna, 2015. "Impact of body mass on job quality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 75-85.
    10. Christensen, Vibeke Tornhøj & Datta Gupta, Nabanita, 2017. "Hearing loss and disability exit: Measurement issues and coping strategies," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 80-91.
    11. Lasse Steiner & Lucian Schneider, 2013. "The happy artist: an empirical application of the work-preference model," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(2), pages 225-246, May.
    12. Vicente Royuela & Jordi López-Tamayo & Jordi Suriñach, 2009. "Results of a Quality of Work Life Index in Spain. A Comparison of Survey Results and Aggregate Social Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 90(2), pages 225-241, January.
    13. Petri Böckerman, 2002. "Overtime in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 36-54, Spring.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:34-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.