Job Characteristics, Job Preferences, and Physical and Mental Health in Later Life

47 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017 Last revised: 9 Oct 2018

See all articles by Jessica Hardie

Jessica Hardie

Hunter College, CUNY

Jonathan Daw

Pennsylvania State University

S. Michael Gaddis

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research

Date Written: March 25, 2017

Abstract

Existing research linking the SES health gradient with work primarily focuses on the precursors (educational attainment) and outcomes (income) of work, rather than asking how more diverse facets of work influence health and health disparities. Using four waves of data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, we evaluate whether multiple measures of respondent job characteristics, respondent preferences for those characteristics, and their interaction substantially improve the fit of sociological models of men’s and women’s physical and mental health compared to traditional models using educational attainment, parental SES, and income. We find that non-wage job characteristics predict men’s and women’s physical and mental health outcomes, although we find only weak evidence that the degree to which one’s job accords with one’s job preferences matters for health. These findings expand our understanding of the SES health gradient, demonstrating how the manner and condition under which one works has long lasting impacts on wellbeing.

Keywords: health, employment, job characteristics, job preferences, mental health, SES

JEL Classification: I00, I14

Suggested Citation

Hardie, Jessica and Daw, Jonathan and Gaddis, S. Michael, Job Characteristics, Job Preferences, and Physical and Mental Health in Later Life (March 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2940909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2940909

Jessica Hardie

Hunter College, CUNY ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
United States

Jonathan Daw

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

Department of Sociology
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
United States

S. Michael Gaddis (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research ( email )

337 Charles E Young Dr E
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

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