Does Job Matching Explain Job Satisfaction? Evidence for UK Graduates

Paper number: 99/07

Paper date: January 1999

Year: 1999

Paper Category: Discussion Paper


CR Belfield*
School of Education, University of Birmingham


RDF Harris University of Exeter


This paper builds on recent work describing relative job satisfaction. Using an ordered probit estimation technique we examine the job satisfaction of recent UK graduates. We focus primarily on explaining job satisfaction in terms of individual matching to jobs, with the match depending on reservation returns, information sets and job offer rates. Only limited support can be found for the argument that job matching explains higher job satisfaction. In addition, we stylise graduates as a peer group who form satisfaction levels based on their rankings relative to each other. We then examine whether or not education quality which raises peer group status and increases the job offer rate is systematically related to job satisfaction. A number of proxies for education quality, intensity, achievement and type are examined. The results broadly support the hypothesis that job satisfaction is neutral across graduates of different education qualities.

JEL Classification Nos: I21, J20
Keywords: Job matching, job satisfaction, higher education

Corresponding Author: *, Tel; 0044-121-414 4392