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The relationship between family context and job satisfaction: a quantitative investigation

Mariani, Elena (2017) The relationship between family context and job satisfaction: a quantitative investigation. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.z0x212cca5lz


This thesis provides empirical evidence on the relationship between demographic events and job satisfaction. Existing conceptualisations of job satisfaction are not fruitful for theorising the relationship between family context and job satisfaction. I develop a framework whereby job satisfaction is maximised when there are no mismatches between desired and obtained employment characteristics, while desired employment characteristics are in turn affected by family context. On one hand, family events may create negative spill-overs into well-being at work; on the other hand, work may be a buffer against negative family events. As family context I consider motherhood, length of paid leave after birth of a child for women and marital dissolution for men. I use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), a longitudinal survey representative of German households that spans the period 1984–2013. This dataset is ideal for my research question because it is the longest panel survey of job satisfaction. Although I chose the SOEP due to its high suitability, I also exploit features of German society and policy. I show that family events bring about variations in job satisfaction in unexpected ways. Becoming a mother does not matter for trajectories of job satisfaction. However, factors such as availability of suitable employment and norms may be more important in explaining why childless women have lower job satisfaction than mothers in Eastern Germany, but not in Western Germany. A shorter paid leave brings about a lower level of job satisfaction at the return to work but only for women of a lower socio-economic standing. Men who divorce experience a temporary increase in job satisfaction that lasts for up to three years after marital dissolution.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Elena Mariani
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Supervisor: Jenkins, Stephen and Özcan, Berkay

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