Job Satisfaction and Gender: Why Are Women So Happy at Work?

{ "0" : "OECD, Education, Employment, Labour & Social Affairs, 2 rue André Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16, France" , "2" : "C13" , "3" : "J16" , "4" : "J28" , "5" : "J71" , "6" : "Job satisfaction" , "7" : "Gender" , "8" : "Comparisons" , "9" : "Expectations"}
Labour Economics (Impact Factor: 0.92). 02/1995; 4(4):341-372. DOI: 10.1016/S0927-5371(97)00010-9


By most objective standards, women's jobs are worse than men's, yet women report higher levels of job satisfaction than do men. This paper uses a recent large-scale British survey to document the extent of this gender differential for eight measures of job satisfaction and to evaluate the proposition that identical men and women in identical jobs should be equally satisfied. Neither the different jobs that men and women do, their different work values, nor sample selection account for the gender satisfaction differential. The paper's proposed explanation appeals to the notion of relative well-being, especially relative to workers' expectations. An identical man and woman with the same jobs and expectations would indeed report identical job satisfaction, but women's expectations are argued to be lower than men's. This hypothesis is supported by the finding that the gender satisfaction differential disappears for the young, the higher-educated, professionals and those in male-dominated workplaces, for all of whom there is less likely to be a gender difference in job expectations.

229 Reads
  • Source
    • "However, we think that the result obtained for obese older individuals could also be explained by the hypothesis of disadvantaged groups having lower expectations about jobs. For example, Clark (1997) argues that job satisfaction is a function of expectations; e.g., s higher job satisfaction is due to their lower expectations from work which derive from weaker position in the labour market resulting in their expectations being more easily fulfilled. In this sense and as noted earlier, we have to take into account that obese individuals are less likely to be employed or to regain employment (e.g. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study investigates the interaction between obesity and disability and its impact on the levels of job satisfaction reported by older workers (aged 50-64) in ten European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain). Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe for the years 2004, 2007 and 2011, we estimate a job satisfaction equation which includes a set of explanatory variables measuring worker’s obesity and disability status (non-disabled, non-limited disabled, and limited disabled). The results show that, after controlling for other variables, obese workers are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs as compared to those workers with normal weight (0.066 points). In addition, being limited disabled or having poor health contribute to reducing (by 0.082 and 0.172 points, respectively) this positive effect of being obese on job satisfaction. However, we do not find any differential effect of obesity on job satisfaction by disability status, except for those underweight individuals who are not limited in their daily activities. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis of lower expectations about jobs for obese workers, especially if they also have poor health.
    Economics & Human Biology 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.ehb.2015.10.001 · 1.90 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The potential role conflict can create negative consequences for the workplace. [2] ccording to Koustelios, Theodorakis & Goulimaris [3] and to new researches, role conflict is one of the most serious problems, which reduce job satisfaction and create a disharmonic workplace. Except the need to reduce any role conflict, most researches note the need of autonomy. "
  • Source
    • "CENTRUM Católica's Working Paper No. 2015-03-0002 With regards to gender, the analyses of Moguerou (2002) and Bender and Heywood (2006) show that female doctorate holders have a greater job satisfaction that men. This result is in line with the general evidence usually defined as the 'paradox of the contented female worker': the fact that female employees have higher levels of job satisfaction is related to women's lower expectations (see Clark 1997; Bender et al. 2005). Also with data from SDR, Sabharwal and Corley (2009) show that job satisfaction (which is a composite index based on the combination of the satisfaction of employees in several job domains) gender gap disappears when all demographic, institutional and job-related characteristics are included. "
    [Show description] [Hide description]
    DESCRIPTION: In this study we analyze the determinants of job satisfaction of doctorate holders in Spain. Specifically, we consider overall job satisfaction as well as basic and motivational satisfaction following Herzberg’s typology (based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Using data from the Spanish Survey on Human Resources in Science and Technology of 2009, representative of the Spanish doctoral graduate population, we develop an analysis by gender and institutional sector (university and non-university) where employees are employed. We propose OLS regression to identify the determinants of basic and motivational satisfaction at job as well as an ordered logit model for overall job satisfaction. Results do not allow us to confirm Herzberg’s differentiation for the Spanish PhD holders, since factors related with basic motivation (such as salary or working conditions referred to ‘safety’) have a bearing on all types of job satisfaction (not only the basic one as expected). Likewise, results do not show significant differences by gender. However, it seems that these ‘basic’ needs are less important for the job satisfaction those PhD holders working at the University. Our results seem reasonable for a Southern European country where monetary conditions in labor relations are worse than in other developed countries.
Show more