Using data on individuals of age 50 and older from 11 european countries, we analyze two economic aspects of subjective well-being of older europeans: satisfaction with household income, and job satisfaction. Both have been shown to contribute substantially to overall well-being (satisfaction with life or happiness). We use anchoring vignettes to correct for potential differences in response scales across countries. The results highlight a large variation in self-reported income satisfaction, which is partly explained by differences in response scales. When differences in response scales are eliminated, the cross-country differences are quite well in line with differences in an objective measure of purchasing power of household income. There are common features in the response scale differences in job satisfaction and income satisfaction. French respondents tend to be critical in both assessments, while danish and dutch respondents are always on the optimistic end of the spectrum. Moreover, correcting for response scale differences decreases the cross-country association between satisfaction with income and job satisfaction among workers.
Bonsang, E. D. M., & van Soest, A. (2012). Satisfaction with job and income among older individuals across European countries. Social Indicators Research, 105(2), 227-254. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-011-9879-5