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Starting in a high strain job…short pain?




  • E. OMEY



Karasek (1979) defined a stressful job as a job with an imbalance between the demands of the job and the control one can exercise in that job (a ‘high strain job’). Previous research showed that starters in a high strain job are indeed less satisfied. They are also not compensated for the high workload they face. In this paper, we raise the question whether this strain (‘high strain job’) is only temporary. The results of our duration analysis show that those starting in a high strain job leave their job significantly sooner than those in an active job. However, this is no guarantee that the strain is only temporarily, since there is a significant probability of still having a high strain job at the age of 26. This finding determines our policy implication: the discussion on work stress should focus on those trapped in high strain jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Verhofstadt & H. De Witte & E. Omey, 2007. "Starting in a high strain job…short pain?," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 07/437, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:07/437

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. H. De Witte & E. Verhofstadt & E. Omey, 2005. "Testing Karasek’s learning- and strain hypothesis on young workers in their first job," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 05/326, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    3. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, April.
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    More about this item


    duration analysis; job-demand-control model of Karasek; job mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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