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Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity

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  • Justina A.V. Fischer

    ()

  • Alfonso Sousa-Poza

    ()

Abstract

This paper evaluates the relationship between job satisfaction and measures of health of workers over 50 using the Swiss Household Panel (SHP) and cross-sectional data from the Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). 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 and intellectual ability that complement self-reported measures of health status. Not only does using the SHP panel structure with job satisfaction lagged mitigate the simultaneity bias, employing the objective health measures in the SHARE dataset addresses measurement problems resulting from respondents’ affective states. For all datasets, we find a positive link between job satisfaction and self-report health measures; that is, employees with higher job satisfaction levels feel healthier, are less depressed, and report fewer impediments in their daily activities. However, once objective measures of physical health are employed, we observe no such link. Rather, the only positive relationship is for intellectual abilities. These primary findings are then tested using additional controls for working conditions, prior health state and affective mental state. The results indicate that job satisfaction partly serves as a transmission channel.

Suggested Citation

  • Justina A.V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2007. "Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2007 2007-31, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2007:2007-31
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-30.
    2. 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.
    3. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
    4. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2009. "Does job satisfaction improve the health of workers? New evidence using panel data and objective measures of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 71-89.
    5. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2007. "The bigger the better? Evidence of the effect of government size on life satisfaction around the world," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 267-292, March.
    6. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    7. A. Sousa-Poza & A. A. Sousa-Poza, 2003. "Gender differences in job satisfaction in Great Britain, 1991-2000: permanent or transitory?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 691-694.
    8. 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.
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    11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
    15. 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.
    16. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2009. "Does job satisfaction improve the health of workers? New evidence using panel data and objective measures of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 71-89.
    2. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being as Welfare Measure: Concepts and Methodology," MPRA Paper 16619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fischer, Justina AV & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2010. "The impact of institutions on firms’ rejuvenation policies: Early retirement with severance pay versus simple lay-off. A Cross-European Analysis," MPRA Paper 20343, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job satisfaction; health; panel data analysis;

    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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