Job satisfaction of older employees – a comparative analysis of German and Hungarian data

Mariann Rigó, Corvinus University of Budapest
Éva Berde, Corvinus University of Budapest

The economic reasons of lengthening the working period of employees have been discussed in several studies. Our paper contributes to this topic by analyzing the job satisfaction of older people: a channel, which might reflect employees’ willingness to work, productivity or loyalty. We examine the job satisfaction of employees in Hungary and in Germany: two countries with differing pension regulations. While pension rules in Germany have become gradually stricter since 1994, early retirement options have been abolished and retirement age increased, the Hungarian pension system offered several options for early retirement until lately. In this way we can compare the job satisfaction of employees in a country where older people have less option to retire before the statutory retirement age to the job satisfaction of employees in another country where older people tend to self-select themselves into the employment pool. To carry out our analysis, we use the 2005 and 2010 waves of the European Working Conditions Surveys. The database is unique as it includes detailed questions on working conditions, and covers several dimensions of job satisfaction. Alternatively, we carry out regressions using the 2013 wave of the EU-SILC database, which covers more employees, but is less detailed about job characteristics. Our results suggest that older employees in Germany are more satisfied with their jobs than younger ones, but older employees are less likely to value their job useful. On the other hand, while Hungarian older workers are overall not more satisfied compared to younger ones, they are more likely to value their job useful than do their younger colleagues. These results highlight the importance of other dimensions of job satisfaction, the usefulness and meaningfulness of the job. Identifying the driving forces behind the various dimensions of job satisfaction might suggest important steps towards an active and productive older population.

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Presented in Poster Session 2