Job Satisfaction Among Young Workers in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Comparative Analysis

36 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Andrew D. McKay

Andrew D. McKay

University of Sussex

Andrew Newell

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Cinzia Rienzo

National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Abstract

The creation of job opportunities for the increasingly educated youth population is a major current policy challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, even though very little is known about the extent to which young workers in the region are satisfied with the employment they currently have. This paper aims to help to fill this latter gap by presenting an analysis of job satisfaction of youth aged 15-29 in four countries from Eastern and Southern Africa: Madagascar, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia. We estimate ordered probit models of the degree of satisfaction in a respondent's main job, using data from the School-to-work Transition Survey (SWTS). It turns out that while a majority of workers are satisfied with their work, a large minority are not.We find that being over-educated or under-educated for the current job is strongly and negatively correlated with job satisfaction in all four countries. With respect to employment status, we find that those who report having chosen to be self-employed are substantially most satisfied in all four countries compared to formal sector wage employees, after controlling for many other factors. Formal wage employees are more satisfied than informal employees in only two of the four countries. These results reinforce the case made by Fields (2014) for not assuming that all self-employment is a 'last resort'. They also raise questions about the quality of available wage jobs for young people.

Keywords: job satisfaction, young workers, Eastern and Southern Africa

JEL Classification: I31, J28, O55

Suggested Citation

McKay, Andrew D. and Newell, Andrew T. and Rienzo, Cinzia, Job Satisfaction Among Young Workers in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Comparative Analysis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11380. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3153344

Andrew D. McKay (Contact Author)

University of Sussex ( email )

Andrew T. Newell

University of Sussex - School of Social Sciences & Cultural Studies ( email )

Falmer, Brightonm BN1 9QN
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1273 606755 (Phone)
+44 (0)1273 673563 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Cinzia Rienzo

National Institute of Economic and Social Research ( email )

2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

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