Does job satisfaction adapt to working conditions? An empirical analysis for rotating shift work, flextime, and temporary employment in UK

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



FFB Discussion Papers


Publication date

March 15, 2011


The hedonic treadmill model for subjective well-being was subject to
several recent empirical analyses based on individual panel data. Most
of this adaptation literature is concentrated on how life events affect
measures of life satisfaction and happiness, whereas adaptation
processes of domain satisfactions like job satisfaction are largely
unstudied. The aim of this paper is to test empirically adaptation
processes of self-reported job satisfaction. For this purpose we
consider flexibility characteristics of a job and derive hypotheses
about which flexibility measures allow for or impede adaptation
processes. Hypotheses are tested using data from up to 18 waves of the
British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). We estimate fixed-effects panel
models to test adaptation processes based on intra-individual changes in
job satisfaction. Our results show no adaptation to rotating shift
work, little adaptation to temporary employment, but full adaptation to
flextime regulations.





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