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Obesity, job satisfaction and disability at older ages in Europe

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  • Pagan, Ricardo
  • Haro, Carmen Ordóñez de
  • Sánchez, Carlos Rivas

Abstract

This study investigates the interaction between obesity and disability and its impact on the levels of job satisfaction reported by older workers (aged 50–64) in ten European countries (Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Spain). Using longitudinal data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe for the years 2004, 2007 and 2011, we estimate a job satisfaction equation which includes a set of explanatory variables measuring worker's obesity and disability status (non-disabled, non-limited disabled, and limited disabled). The results show that, after controlling for other variables, obese workers are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs as compared to those workers with normal weight (0.066 points). In addition, being limited disabled or having poor health contribute to reducing (by 0.082 and 0.172 points, respectively) this positive effect of being obese on job satisfaction. However, we do not find any differential effect of obesity on job satisfaction by disability status, except for those underweight individuals who are not limited in their daily activities. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis of lower expectations about jobs for obese workers, especially if they also have poor health.

Suggested Citation

  • Pagan, Ricardo & Haro, Carmen Ordóñez de & Sánchez, Carlos Rivas, 2016. "Obesity, job satisfaction and disability at older ages in Europe," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 42-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:20:y:2016:i:c:p:42-54
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2015.10.001
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    Cited by:

    1. Davillas, Apostolos & Pudney, Stephen, 2020. "Biomarkers as precursors of disability," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    2. Ljunge, Martin, 2016. "Migrants, health, and happiness: Evidence that health assessments travel with migrants and predict well-being," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 35-46.

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