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Journal Article

What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data


Publication date



This paper uses labour market spell data from the first seven waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to model separations and quits. Three main results emerge. First, job satisfaction data are powerful predictors of both separations and quits, even controlling for wages, hours and standard demographic and job variables. Second, the comparison of the power of seven domain job satisfaction measures in a quit equation yields a ranking of job characteristics: job security and pay are the most important, followed by use of initiative, the work itself, and hours of work. This ranking differs markedly across different labour market groups. Last, union job dissatisfaction seems to be real: dissatisfied union members are just as likely to quit as are dissatisfied union non-members. However, union “free-riders” (non-union members at establishments with union recognition) do seem to behave differently from workers at establishments where unions are not recognised.

Published in

Labour Economics


8, 223-242



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