Image and Reality: the Case of Job Satisfaction

Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Bernard M S Van Praag, Ioannis Theodossiou

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


This study makes a distinction between two types of utility. Experienced utility is defined as the job satisfaction derived from the present job, estimated by using a subjective evaluation of job satisfaction. Anticipated utility is defined as the individual’s anticipated job satisfaction before starting the job and it is studied by using a stated preference methodology known as conjoint analysis. The results suggest that the two utility concepts are different. Information about experienced utility is useful for the evaluation of well-being policies and the welfare effects of various employer strategies. Anticipated utility provides knowledge about the job search process.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for European Labour Market Research
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Publication series

NameUniversity of Aberdeen Business School Working Paper Series
ISSN (Print)0143-4543


  • conjoint analysis
  • experienced utility
  • decision utility
  • job satisfaction
  • subjective well-being


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