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Comparing levels of job satisfaction in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe

  • Borooah, Vani

Against the plethora of studies of the factors influencing job satisfaction, this paper makes three contributions. First, in contrast to most studies of job satisfaction which are country-specific, the scope of this paper extends to 33 different countries. Comparing different countries on the basis of their mean job satisfaction scores ignores inequality in the distribution of scores between the countries’ individual respondents: the paper’s second contribution is to construct “equity-sensitive” job satisfaction scores for each country and, using these indicators, to compare their achievements with respect to job satisfaction. The third purpose of the paper is to answer the question posed in the title. The reason that West European countries have higher levels of job satisfaction compared to East European countries could, in part, be because they are better endowed with the “attributes” that promote job satisfaction; it could also, in part, be due to the “responses” of workers in West European countries, to a given set of attributes, being more conducive to job satisfaction than the corresponding responses of workers in East European countries. In this paper we estimate the relative importance of attributes and coefficients in determining differences in levels of job satisfaction between the two sets of countries. We do this by using the estimates from an ordered logit model to decompose the probability of being at a particular level of satisfaction into its “attributes” and “coefficients” parts. The empirical foundation for the study is provided by data for over 20,000 employed respondents, pertaining to the year 2000, obtained from the 1999-2002 Values Survey Integrated Data File.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23664/1/MPRA_paper_23664.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 23664.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision: 2009
Publication status: Published in International Journal of Manpower 4.30(2009): pp. 304-325
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23664
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  1. Susan J. Linz, 2002. "Job Satisfaction Among Russian Workers," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 468, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Donna Brown & Steven McIntosh, 2003. "Job satisfaction in the low wage service sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1241-1254.
  3. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi, 2004. "Education, Migration, and Job Ssatisfaction: the Regional Returns of Human Capital in the EU," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 1, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  4. Alex Bryson & Lorenzo Cappellari & Claudio Lucifora, 2004. "Does Union Membership Really Reduce Job Satisfaction?," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(3), pages 439-459, 09.
  5. A. Sousa-Poza & A. A. Sousa-Poza, 2003. "Gender differences in job satisfaction in Great Britain, 1991-2000: permanent or transitory?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 691-694.
  6. Lovett, Steve & Coyle, Tom & Adams, Russell, 2004. "Job satisfaction and technology in Mexico," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 217-232, August.
  7. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2005. "An Investigation of National Trends in Job Satisfaction in Britain and Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 401-429, 09.
  8. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  9. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2000. "Well-being at work: a cross-national analysis of the levels and determinants of job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 517-538, November.
  10. Reamonn Lydon & Arnaud Chevalier, 2002. "Estimates of the effect of wages on job satisfaction," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20081, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  12. Vani Borooah, 2006. "How much happiness is there in the world? A cross-country study," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(8), pages 483-488.
  13. Shields, Michael A. & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2000. "Racial Harassment, Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Quit: Evidence from the British Nursing Profession," IZA Discussion Papers 164, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Michael Rose, 2005. "Job Satisfaction in Britain: Coping with Complexity," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 455-467, 09.
  15. Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 1998. "Discrimination and detailed decomposition in a logit model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 115-120, October.
  16. Andrew A. Luchak & Ian R. Gellatly, 2002. "How Pension Accrual Affects Job Satisfaction ," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(1), pages 145-162, January.
  17. Keith A. Bender & Susan M. Donohue & John S. Heywood, 2005. "Job satisfaction and gender segregation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 479-496, July.
  18. Luis Vila & Belen Garcia-Mora, 2005. "Education and the Determinants of Job Satisfaction," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 409-425.
  19. Anthea Long, 2005. "Happily Ever After? A Study of Job Satisfaction in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 303-321, December.
  20. Frank, Robert H, 1997. "The Frame of Reference as a Public Good," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1832-47, November.
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