Although the determinants of wage militancy and moderation have been studied extensively by comparative political economists, so far the literature has focused on the macro level of analysis. As a result, there has been no attempt to analyze the determinants of individual-level attitudes towards wages. Based on two waves of the International Social Survey Programme, in this paper we fill this gap. We examine to what extent workers internalize the imperatives of competitiveness, and whether wage bargaining institutions facilitate this internalization, as suggested by a large literature on neocorporatism. Surprisingly, we find that the structure of wage bargaining (more or less coordinated or centralized) has no relationship with wage satisfaction or dissatisfaction at the individual level. Instead, wage dissatisfaction decreases strongly when workers are individually exposed to trade and countries rely heavily on export-led growth. Our results point to the need to rethink the determinants of wage moderation.