Wednesday, 5 August 2015

A web survey analysis of subjective well-being

an article by Martin Guzi (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic) and Pablo de Pedraza García (University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands AND Universidad de Salamanca, Spain) published in International Journal of Manpower Volume 36 Issue 1 (2015)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of work conditions and job characteristics with respect to three subjective well-being (SWB) indicators: life satisfaction, job satisfaction and satisfaction with work-life balance. From a methodological point of view, the paper shows how social sciences can benefit from the use of voluntary web survey data.

The paper makes use of a large sample of individual data obtained from voluntary web surveys collected as part of the WageIndicator project. The sample includes extensive information on the quality of working conditions together with different well-being indicators. The propensity score adjustment weights are used to improve the sample performance.

The results shed light on the importance of certain job characteristics not only in determining job satisfaction, but also in other SWB domains. The findings support the theory of spillover perspectives, according to which satisfaction in one domain affects other domains.

Research limitations/implications
As a voluntary web-survey, WageIndicator is affected by selection bias. The validity of the sample can be improved by weighting, but this adjustment should be made and tested on a country-by-country basis.

The paper provides analysis of the quality of a web survey not commonly used in happiness research. The subsequent presentation of the effects of working conditions on several satisfaction domains represents a contribution to the literature.

JEL codes: J28, J81

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