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Measuring job quality and job satisfaction




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Job quality is a multi-dimensional concept that has become prominent on the agenda of policy-makers. There is no consensus about how to measure and how to monitor it. In this paper we compare often used objective and subjective indicators of job quality. We argue that objective indicators are .too objective, as they neglect interindividual differences in preferences, while subjective job satisfaction is .too subjective, as it also reflects differences in aspirations. We propose an alternative measure of job quality in terms of equivalent incomes that does respect individual preferences but rules out aspirations. We illustrate our approach with Flemish data on school-leavers (SONAR) using the information on the .rst job of the 1978 birth cohort. We compare the results for the equivalent income indicator with the results of objective and subjective indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Schokkaert & E. Verhofstadt & L. Van Ootegem & -, 2009. "Measuring job quality and job satisfaction," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 09/620, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:09/620

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Levy-Garboua, Louis & Montmarquette, Claude, 2004. "Reported job satisfaction: what does it mean?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 135-151, April.
    2. Anna Cristina D'Addio & Tor Eriksson & Paul Frijters, 2007. "An analysis of the determinants of job satisfaction when individuals' baseline satisfaction levels may differ," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(19), pages 2413-2423.
    3. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Jose A. Cabral Vieira, 2005. "Low-pay higher pay and job satisfaction within the European Union: empirical evidence from fourteen countries," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1560405, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yogo, Urbain Thierry, 2011. "Social Network and Job Quality: Evidence from Cameroon," MPRA Paper 44936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. André Decoster & Peter Haan, 2015. "Empirical welfare analysis with preference heterogeneity," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 224-251, April.
    3. Philipp Poppitz, 2017. "Can subjective data improve inequality measurement? A multidimensional index of economic inequality," Working Papers 446, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. Giovanna Boccuzzo & Martina Gianecchini, 2015. "Measuring Young Graduates’ Job Quality Through a Composite Indicator," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(2), pages 453-478, June.

    More about this item


    job quality; job satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J80 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - General

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