Does Wage Rank Affect Employees’ Well‐being?

How do workers make wage comparisons? Both an experimental study and an analysis of 16,000 British employees are reported. Satisfaction and well‐being levels are shown to depend on more than simple relative pay. They depend upon the ordinal rank of an individual's wage within a comparison group...

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Volume: 47
Main Author: BROWN, GORDON D. A
GARDNER, JONATHAN
OSWALD, ANDREW J
QIAN, JING
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Zielgruppe: Trade
Place of publication: Malden, USA Blackwell Publishing Inc 01.07.2008
WILEY-BLACKWELL
Wiley Subscription Services, Inc
Blackwell Publishing
published in: Industrial relations (Berkeley) Vol. 47; no. 3; pp. 355 - 389
Data of publication: July 2008
ISSN: 0019-8676
1468-232X
EISSN: 1468-232X
Discipline: Economics
Law
Bibliography: g.d.a.brown@warwick.ac.uk
We are grateful to three anonymous referees for extremely valuable suggestions. This research was supported by grants 88/S15050 from BBSRC (UK) and grants R000239002 and R000239351 from ESRC (UK). Oswald's work was supported by an ESRC professorial fellowship. The first version of this paper was written in 2002. Opinions in this article are those of individual authors only; they do not necessarily reflect views or policies of Watson Wyatt. For helpful suggestions, we thank Dick Easterlin, Richard Freeman, Carol Graham, Larry Katz, Tatiana Kornienko, George Lowenstein, Erzo Luttmer, Karl Schag, and Frank Vella. We also thank participants in presentations at a 2003 Brookings Institution conference; Gary Becker's evening seminar at the University of Chicago; the 2005 American Economic Association Meeting in Washington, DC; and research seminars at the universities of Edinburgh, Essex, the European University Institute (Florence), Harvard, Oxford, Paris, Warwick, and York.
The authors’ affiliations are, respectively, Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; Research and Development, Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Watson House, London Road, Reigate, Surrey, United Kingdom; Department of Economics, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom; ABC Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. E‐mail
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