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Does Job Satisfaction Improve the Health of Workers? New Evidence Using Panel Data and Objective Measures of Health

Author

Listed:
  • Fischer, Justina A.V.

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Justina A.V. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2007. "Does Job Satisfaction Improve the Health of Workers? New Evidence Using Panel Data and Objective Measures of Health," IZA Discussion Papers 3256, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3256
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, "undated". "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.
    4. 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, January.
    5. 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.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 359-381.
    7. 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 127-141, October.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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, July.
    13. 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.
    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 135-152.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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