A Longitudinal Analysis of Job Satisfaction During a Recession in the Netherlands

Patrick Pilipiec*, Wim Groot, Milena Pavlova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Between 2008 and 2013, the Netherlands was confronted by a severe recession. This recession may have affected the job satisfaction of workers. Currently, little is known about how job satisfaction changes during a recession. To investigate the effect of the 2008-2013 recession on job satisfaction in the Netherlands, and to assess how job satisfaction changed over time. Longitudinal data from six waves of a national panel in the Netherlands are used to investigate the effects. These data capture the periods before, during and after the recession. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique is used to decompose the ordinal outcome variable job satisfaction. Subsequent waves are compared, which results in five comparison groups. Workers who participated in subsequent waves are matched to assess their job satisfaction over time. Cross-sectional associations are analyzed using the entire unmatched dataset. Workers became more satisfied with their job during the recession. After the recession ended, average job satisfaction decreased again. Both unmatched and matched analyses indicated only changes in job level affecting job satisfaction. The coefficient of education had a small effect cross-sectionally. The level of education and industry had a small effect longitudinally. However, these effects were not robust. Job satisfaction decreased before the recession commenced but increased during the recession. After the recession, job satisfaction decreased again. An increase in job satisfaction during the recession may be explained by a change in the composition of workers with respect to job level, instead of by the effect of predictors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-269
Number of pages31
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Early online date27 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition
  • Decomposition analysis
  • Job satisfaction
  • Labor market outcome
  • Recession
  • The Netherlands
  • WORK

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