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A web survey analysis of subjective well-being

Martin Guzi (Faculty of Economics and Administration, Department of Public Economics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)
Pablo de Pedraza García (Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies, AIAS, Department of Applied Economics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands AND Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 7 April 2015

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the STSM Grant from the COST Action WEBDATANET IS1004, the ITN project Eduworks www.eduworks-network.eu/ and the project “Employment of Best Young Scientists for International Cooperation Empowerment” (CZ.1.07/2.3.00/30.0037) co-financed from European Social Fund and the state budget of the Czech Republic. The authors thank Kea Tijdens, Miguel Loriz, and an anonymous referee for their comments and suggestions. Any errors in this text are the responsibility of the authors.

Citation

Guzi, M. and de Pedraza García, P. (2015), "A web survey analysis of subjective well-being", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 48-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-12-2014-0237

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited