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Extra Status and Extra Stress: Are Promotions Good for Us?

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  • David W. Johnston
  • Wang-Sheng Lee

Abstract

Promotions ordinarily involve higher wages and greater privileges; but they also often involve increased responsibility, accountability and work hours. Therefore, whether promotions are good for workers' wellbeing is an empirical question. Using high-quality panel data we estimate pre- and post-promotion effects on job attributes, physical health, mental health and life satisfaction, in an attempt at answering this question. We find that promotions substantially improve job security, pay perceptions and overall job satisfaction in the short term, and that promotions have short and longer term effects on job control, job stress, income and hours worked. However, despite these large effects on job attributes, we find that promotions have negligible effects on workers' health and happiness. Only mental health seems affected, with estimates suggesting significant deterioration two years after receiving a promotion. Thus, it seems the additional stress involved with promotions eventually outweighs the additional status, at least for the average worker.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 66 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 32-54

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:66:y:2013:i:1:p:32-54

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  1. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 235, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  3. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2010. "Anticipation, Free-Rider Problem, and Adaptation to Trade Union: Re-examining the Curious Case of Dissatisfied Union Members," IZA Discussion Papers 4806, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  5. Griffin, Joan M. & Fuhrer, Rebecca & Stansfeld, Stephen A. & Marmot, Michael, 2002. "The importance of low control at work and home on depression and anxiety: do these effects vary by gender and social class?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 783-798, March.
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  13. Rafael Di Tella & John Haisken-De New & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness Adaptation to Income and to Status in an Individual Panel," NBER Working Papers 13159, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & McVicar, Duncan & Wooden, Mark, 2013. "Non-Standard 'Contingent' Employment and Job Satisfaction: A Panel Data Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Grimani, Katerina, 2014. "Labor earnings and Psychological well-being: An Empirical Analysis," MPRA Paper 57098, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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