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Does job satisfaction improve the health of workers? New evidence using panel data and objective measures of health

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  • Justina A. V. Fischer

    (London School of Economics & Stockholm School of Economics, Department of Economics, Stockholm, Sweden)

  • Alfonso Sousa-Poza

    (University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, Haushalts- und Konsumökonomik sowie Genderökonomik (530a), Stuttgart, Germany)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the relationship between job satisfaction and measures of health of workers using the German Socio-Economic Panel. Methodologically, it addresses two important design problems encountered frequently in the literature: (a) cross-sectional causality problems and (b) the absence of objective measures of physical health that complement self-reported measures of health status. Not only does using the panel structure with individual fixed effects mitigate the bias from omitting unobservable personal psycho-social characteristics, but employing more objective health measures such as health-system contacts and disability addresses such measurement problems relating to self-report assessments of health status. We find a positive link between job satisfaction (and changes over time therein) and subjective health measures (and changes therein); that is, employees with higher or improved job satisfaction levels feel healthier and are more satisfied with their health. This observation also holds true for more objective measures of health. Particularly, improvements in job satisfaction over time appear to prevent workers from (further) health deterioration. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1341
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 71-89

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:71-89

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1997. "Job Satisfaction, Wage Changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Studies in Economics 9711, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  2. Clark, Andrew E., 1997. "Job satisfaction and gender: Why are women so happy at work?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 341-372, December.
  3. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  4. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2007. "The effect of job satisfaction on labor turnover by gender: An analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 895-913, December.
  5. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  6. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A., 2000. "Well-being at work: a cross-national analysis of the levels and determinants of job satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 517-538, November.
  7. Rainer Winkelmann & Klaus Zimmermann, 1998. "Is job stability declining in Germany? Evidence from count data models," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(11), pages 1413-1420.
  8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2008. "Heteroskedasticity-Robust Standard Errors for Fixed Effects Panel Data Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(1), pages 155-174, 01.
  9. Schmidt, Stefanie R, 1999. "Long-Run Trends in Workers' Beliefs about Their Own Job Security: Evidence from the General Social Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S127-41, October.
  10. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 144(III), pages 379-435, September.
  11. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  12. Helen Cheng & Adrian Furnham, 2001. "Attributional Style and Personality as Predictors of Happiness and Mental Health," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 307-327, September.
  13. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  14. Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Sousa-Poza, Andres A, 2000. "Taking Another Look at the Gender/Job-Satisfaction Paradox," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(2), pages 135-52.
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