Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable

14 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2004 Last revised: 15 Aug 2010

See all articles by Richard B. Freeman

Richard B. Freeman

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies; Harvard University; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)

Date Written: December 1977

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine these concerns and evaluate the use of job satisfaction (and other subjective variables) in labor market analysis. The main theme is that, while there are good reasons to treat subjective variables gingerly, the answers to questions about how people feel toward their job are not meaningless but rather convey useful information about economic life that should not be ignored. The paper begins with a brief description of the satisfaction questions on major worker surveys, and then considers the use of satisfaction as an independent and as a dependent variable. Satisfaction is shown to be a major determinant of labor market mobility, in part it is argued because it reflects aspects of the work place not captured by standard objective variable8. Satisfaction is also found to depend anomolously on some economic variables (such as unionism) in ways that provide insight into how those factors affect people.

Suggested Citation

Freeman, Richard B., Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable (December 1977). NBER Working Paper No. w0225. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=252193

Richard B. Freeman (Contact Author)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)
617-868-2742 (Fax)

University of Edinburgh - School of Social and Political Studies ( email )

Adam Ferguson Building
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LL
United Kingdom

Harvard University ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-868-3900 (Phone)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
118
Abstract Views
2,911
rank
232,919
PlumX Metrics