Personality, Job Satisfaction and Health - The Mediating Influence of Affectivity
University of St. Gallen, Department of Economics Discussion Paper No. 2007-31
59 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2007
Date Written: August 2007
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.
Keywords: job satisfaction, health, panel data analysis
JEL Classification: I18, I19, J28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation