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Pay Reference Groups and Pay Satisfaction. What Do Workers Evaluate Their Pay To?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2004 (English)In: Social Science Research, Vol. 33, 206-224 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reference group theory postulates that actors’ satisfaction originates in relative rather than absolute standing, but largely neglects the question of what these comparison standards actually are. This study contributes to filling this void through an empirical investigation of the standards against which workers evaluate their pay. The associations between several indicators of reference pay and pay satisfaction are examined among Swedish employees. The data set is unusually rich in its information about both the individual and the structural context in which workers’ pay satisfaction is formed: the past pay of the worker, and the pay level of the organizational, occupational, and national labor market context. The results indicate that Swedish workers’ satisfaction primarily stems from more general comparisons, relating to others in their occupation, and to others in the labor market at large. Comparisons with co-workers and the individuals’ own past pay seem to be of minor importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 33, 206-224 p.
Keyword [en]
Reference groups, Wages, Equity, Distributive justice
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19109DOI: doi:10.1016/S0049-089X(03)00045-0OAI: diva2:185632
Available from: 2009-02-22 Created: 2009-02-22 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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Bygren, Magnus
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ReferencesLink to record
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