What Makes Economists Happy? Job Satisfaction of Economics Baccalaureate Recipients

Joe G. Baker, Kim Craft and David Tufte
    Although job satisfaction has been the focus of many sociological studies, it has only recently begun to be examined by economists. This paper contributes to this literature by focusing on job satisfaction characteristics of economics baccalaureate recipients (EBRs). EBRs report lower overall job satisfaction than any other baccalaureate degree save computer science/mathematics. Using data from the 2003 National Survey of College Graduates, an ordered probit model is estimated. Model estimates indicate an inverse relationship between job satisfaction and income; higher paid EBRs report less job satisfaction. Higher levels of responsibility and independence are directly associated with job satisfaction; EBRs who supervise other workers report higher job satisfaction. EBRs who are married and have young children have higher levels of job satisfaction, as do EBRs who work for the government or small firms. Asians and under‐represented minorities report less job satisfaction. EBRs who live in New England or the West Coast report lower levels of job satisfaction.

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