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Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?

Author

Listed:
  • Böckerman, Petri

    () (Labour Institute for Economic Research)

  • Bryson, Alex

    () (University College London)

  • Kauhanen, Antti

    () (ETLA - The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy)

  • Kangasniemi, Mari

    () (Labour Institute for Economic Research)

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data for Finland we examine associations between job design and ten measures of worker wellbeing. In accordance with Karasek's (1979) model we find positive correlations between many aspects of worker wellbeing and job control. However, contrary to the model, job demands have no adverse effects on worker wellbeing. We find a strong positive correlation between job support and all aspects of worker wellbeing that is independent of job controls and job demands, a finding that has not been emphasized in the literature. The effects are most pronounced in relation to supervisor support. We also find evidence of unemployment scarring effects: substantial experience of unemployment has long-term consequences for the wellbeing workers experience in their current jobs, even controlling for the quality of those jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Böckerman, Petri & Bryson, Alex & Kauhanen, Antti & Kangasniemi, Mari, 2017. "Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?," IZA Discussion Papers 10486, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10486
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
    2. Cottini, Elena & Kato, Takao & Westergaard-Nielsen, Niels, 2011. "Adverse workplace conditions, high-involvement work practices and labor turnover: Evidence from Danish linked employer–employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 872-880.
    3. Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink & Nick Martin, 2014. "Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, and Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 123-159.
    4. Alex Bryson & John Forth & Lucy Stokes, 2015. "Does Worker Wellbeing Affect Workplace Performance?," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 447, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    5. Burt S. Barnow & Jeffrey Smith, 2015. "Employment and Training Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 2, pages 127-234 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Böckerman, Petri & Bryson, Alex & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2012. "Does high involvement management improve worker wellbeing?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 660-680.
    7. Benjamin M. Artz & Amanda H. Goodall & Andrew J. Oswald, 2017. "Boss Competence and Worker Well-Being," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(2), pages 419-450, March.
    8. Petri Böckerman & Alex Bryson & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2013. "Does high involvement management lead to higher pay?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(4), pages 861-885, October.
    9. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:10:1336-1342_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    11. John Godard, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of the High-Performance Paradigm," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 349-378, June.
    12. Bryson, Alex & Barth, Erling & Dale-Olsen, Harald, 2012. "Do higher wages come at a price?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 251-263.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    worker wellbeing; job control; job demands; job support; job design; supervisors; job satisfaction; stress; HRM; unemployment; scarring effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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