Job Type, Identity and Subjective Wellbeing
25 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2017
Date Written: July 27, 2017
Using data from the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing (ELSA), we examine the impact of labour market attachment and identity on subjective wellbeing (SWB) and quality of life (QoL). We consider the effect of employment contracts (representing labour market attachment) and self-identity on SWB and QoL before and during retirement. Our results suggest that individuals whose employment contracts are characterised by strong attachment to the labour market are more likely to have their identity formed by their labour market behaviours and to have higher levels of SWB and QoL throughout their working lives. However, in retirement, withdrawal from the labour market represents a loss of identity, and thus causes a significant drop in SWB and QoL. We offer suggestions for supporting the SWB and QoL of retirees based on their varying employment and identity profiles.
Keywords: job type, identity, subjective wellbeing, quality of life
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