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Longitudinal Evidence for Reciprocal Effects Between Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction

Author

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  • Piotr Bialowolski

    (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
    WSB University)

  • Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska

    (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

Abstract

The evidence for a correlation between life satisfaction and job satisfaction is strong; however, it is mostly based on cross-sectional results, which precludes establishing valid causal links between work and well-being. Limited longitudinal research suffers from relatively small sample sizes, narrow focus on a particular professional or national group, and differences in the lags between the waves of data examined. We address these issues by using three national, representative longitudinal studies with up to 30 years of repeated annual measurements of job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Using data from 216,573 individuals and applying panel vector autoregression models, we seek to establish whether, and to what extent, job satisfaction influences subsequent life satisfaction and life satisfaction has a concurrent impact on subsequent job satisfaction. Our findings corroborate that life satisfaction and job satisfaction are positively and reciprocally related, as in the spillover theory, and that life satisfaction influences job satisfaction more strongly than vice versa. The magnitude of the impact is found to be population-specific and time sensitive, with the highest effect in the subsequent year and with statistically significant effects lasting even up to 5 years. Gender, age, education, and household member status were found to differentiate the strength of the relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Piotr Bialowolski & Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, 2021. "Longitudinal Evidence for Reciprocal Effects Between Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 1287-1312, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:22:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s10902-020-00273-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-020-00273-1
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