Wage Structures, Fairness Perceptions, and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


The paper investigates the impact of firms’ wage structures and workers’ wage fairness perceptions on workers’ well-being. For this purpose, worker and establishment surveys are linked with administrative social security data. Four variables are generated, using approximately half a million worker-year observations, that describe firms’ wage structures and workers’ positions within the wage structures: own absolute wages, internal reference wages within firms, external reference wages, and the wage dispersion in firms. The interrelations between these wage structure variables, workers’ perceived wage fairness, and job satisfaction are then analyzed using regressions. Interpersonal wage comparisons between co-workers in the same firm and across firms as well as wage fairness perceptions are found to be significant determinants of workers’ well-being. The overall findings suggest that equity and social status considerations as well as altruistic preferences towards co-workers and inequality aversion are more important than signal considerations in this context.

ZeitschriftJournal of Happiness Studies
Seiten (von - bis)2291-2308
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2023

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