April 20, 2006
Contingent Contracts and Worker Happiness
Is contractual job protection important to worker happiness? Not as much as you'd think, according to Dutch economist Marloes de Graaf-Zul. In The Anatomy of Job Satisfaction and the Role of Contingent Employment Contracts, she looks at the data and finds that the type of contract, whether fixed or contingent, plays a surprisingly small role in how happy workers are in their jobs. Here's the abstract:
In this paper I analyze job satisfaction using fixed effect analysis and a multiple equation model. Overall job satisfaction is analyzed as an aggregate of satisfaction with several job aspects. I find that overall job satisfaction is mainly determined by satisfaction with job content. All aspect satisfactions are subsequently explained from observed characteristics, with special focus on contingent employment contracts. Satisfaction with job security is the aspect satisfaction with the strongest relation to type of contract. Since this is also the aspect that receives least weight in overall job satisfaction this has little impact on workers' total happiness. More influential is the low satisfaction with job content due to agency work. Overall, temporary agency work leads to the lowest job satisfaction. On-call work and fixed-term work arrangements do not differ from regular work in overall job satisfaction they provide, even though they do lead to higher or lower satisfaction with some aspects of the job.
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