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The effect of reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differnences on public employee's job satisfaction


  • Tepe, Markus


This study explores the determinants of public employees' job satisfaction. We are focusing on three concepts - reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differences - to explain job satisfaction and production sector affiliation. Estimation results obtained from multivariate analyses on individual level data from the German Socio-economic Panel Study (GSOEP) can be summarized in three points: First, in contrast to reciprocal motives, personality traits have a unique and direct effect on public and private sector employees' job satisfaction. Second, even though we cannot proof that public employees at the high-end of the earnings distribution trade a loss in pecuniary benefits against an increase in non-pecuniary benefits, the empirical analysis strongly supports the notion that public employees' job satisfaction function varies across the earnings distribution. Finally, public employees' personal characteristics can be associated with lower levels of negative reciprocity, conscientiousness and neuroticism, pointing out to a potential self-selection and recruitment bias in the public sector.

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  • Tepe, Markus, 2010. "The effect of reciprocal motives, personality traits and wage differnences on public employee's job satisfaction," TranState Working Papers 131, University of Bremen, Collaborative Research Center 597: Transformations of the State.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb597:131

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    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 592-612, March.
    2. James C. Cox & Daniel Friedman & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2008. "Revealed Altruism," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 31-69, January.
    3. Thomas Cornelissen & John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn, 2010. "Profit Sharing and Reciprocity: Theory and Survey Evidence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 292, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Paolo Ghinetti & Claudio Lucifora, 2008. "Public Sector Pay Gaps and Skill Levels: a Cross-Country Comparison," Working Papers 118, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    5. Cox, James C. & Friedman, Daniel & Gjerstad, Steven, 2007. "A tractable model of reciprocity and fairness," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-45, April.
    6. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, September.
    7. Pollitt, Christopher & Bouckaert, Geert, 2004. "Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199268498.
    8. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
    9. Richard Disney & Amanda Gosling, 1998. "Does it pay to work in the public sector?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 347-374, November.
    10. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
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