Matching it up: non-standard work and job satisfaction

We leverage the flexibility enactment theory to study the link between working arrangements and job satisfaction. We propose that this link is moderated by individual inclination to non-standard working arrangements. Thus, we provide novel insights on the (mis)match between preferred and actual working arrangements. We apply this approach to data from the European Working Conditions Survey and empirically characterize the extent of mismatch in working arrangements across European countries. We shed new light on several phenomena. First, the extent of mismatch is substantial and reallocating workers between jobs could substantially boost overall job satisfaction in European countries. Second, the mismatch more frequently affects women and parents. Finally, we demonstrate that the extent of mismatch differs across European countries, which hints that one-size-fits-all policies, whether they deregulate or curb non-standard arrangements, are not likely to maximize the happiness of workers.