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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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Author Info

  • Fischer, Justina A.V.

    ()
    (World Trade Institute)

  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso

    ()
    (University of Hohenheim)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the relationship between job satisfaction and measures of health of workers using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). Methodologically, it addresses two important design problems encountered frequently in the literature: (a) cross-sectional causality problems and (b) 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3256.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Health Economics, 2009, 18 (1), 71-89
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3256

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Keywords: panel data analysis; job satisfaction; well-being; health;

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References

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  1. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  2. Justina A.V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2007. "Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-31, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  3. 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.
  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. 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.
  6. Andrew Clark, . "Job Satisfaction and Gender. Why are Women so Happy at Work?," Economics Discussion Papers 415, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  7. Richard B. Freeman, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, . "Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-06, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
  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. 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.
  11. 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.
  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.
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