Job Satisfaction in Europe
Namkee Ahn () and
Juan García López ()
No 2004-16, Working Papers from FEDEA
Job satisfaction is an important part of overall life satisfaction among the working age population. We examine Western Europeans’ overall job satisfaction and the satisfaction levels in several job domains using the European Community Household Panel Survey (1994-2001). With respect to overall job satisfaction, wage is important. Yet, some other factors show equally or more important effects. For example, health turns out to be a single most important determinant of overall job satisfaction. Job match quality, contract type and job status are also important. With respect to the relationship between overall and job domain satisfaction, work type comes out as the most important job domain in all countries, followed by pay, working condition and job security. In analyzing determinants of each job domain satisfaction, we find some interesting results. Female workers declare higher pay satisfaction but lower work hour satisfaction, which are consistent with the hypothesis of low aspiration and greater non-market responsibility among women. Good job matches increase satisfaction levels in all job domains, but in particular with respect to pay and work type. Local unemployment rate has no effects on overall job satisfaction, but it has significant effects in two job domains, job security and work hours. Those in countries or times of high unemployment declare much lower satisfaction with job security, while they declare higher satisfaction with hours of work. Finally, even after controlling many variables which are responsible, directly and indirectly, for overall and each job domain satisfaction, there still remain large country fixed effects. Given the same observed worker and job characteristics, Austrian, Danish and Irish workers declare substantially higher satisfaction in all job domains than the workers in the Mediterranean countries.
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