Job Satisfaction and Happiness: New Evidence from Japanese Union Workers
This paper utilizes survey data of Japanese union workers to pro- vide new insights to the "happiness and economics" literature. A cru- cial item that distinguishes our empirical analyses from previous stud- ies is the use of data on workers' expectations of their peers' wages. With our data, we con rm that individuals report higher levels of subjective well-being (SWB) when they perceive that their wages are higher relative to their peers'. On the other hand, the traditional ap- proach in the literature constructs relative wages from Mincer equa- tions, thus presuming that individuals infer their peers' wages the way econometricians do. We argue that this method may be inappropriate. Moreover, we address the issue of endogeneity of our subjective refer- ence income measure employing an instrumental variables approach, and corroborate the causality from relative income to SWB. Addition- ally, we study the relationship between SWB measures and workers' individual characteristics, and compare our results with standard nd- ings in the literature for U.S. and European workers. In agreement with these studies, women and married individuals seem to be happier than their counterparts, men and single workers. However, we observe a U-shaped relationship between education and happiness, which con- trasts with ndings for U.S. and British workers. Finally, we attempt to explain these relationships in the context of the Japanese social background.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/|
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