Does Job Support Make Workers Happy?

45 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2017

See all articles by Petri Bockerman

Petri Bockerman

Labour Institute for Economic Research; University of Turku - Turku School of Economics

Alex Bryson

UCL ; National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

Antti Kauhanen

ETLA, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy

Mari Kangasniemi

University of Sussex

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

Using linked employer-employee data for Finland we examine associations between job design and ten measures of worker wellbeing. In accordance with Karasek's (1979) model we find positive correlations between many aspects of worker wellbeing and job control. However, contrary to the model, job demands have no adverse effects on worker wellbeing. We find a strong positive correlation between job support and all aspects of worker wellbeing that is independent of job controls and job demands, a finding that has not been emphasized in the literature. The effects are most pronounced in relation to supervisor support. We also find evidence of unemployment scarring effects: substantial experience of unemployment has long-term consequences for the wellbeing workers experience in their current jobs, even controlling for the quality of those jobs.

Keywords: worker wellbeing, job control, job demands, job support, job design, supervisors, job satisfaction, stress, HRM, unemployment, scarring effects

JEL Classification: J28, J8, L23, M54

Suggested Citation

Bockerman, Petri and Bryson, Alex and Kauhanen, Antti and Kangasniemi, Mari, Does Job Support Make Workers Happy? (January 2017). IZA Discussion Paper No. 10486, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903108

Petri Bockerman (Contact Author)

Labour Institute for Economic Research ( email )

FIN-00530 Helsinki
Finland
+358 9 2535 7332 (Phone)
+358 9 2535 7332 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.petribockerman.fi/

University of Turku - Turku School of Economics ( email )

Rehtorinpellonkatu 3
TURKU, FI-20500
Finland

Alex Bryson

UCL ( email )

20 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=ABRYS65

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) ( email )

2 Dean Trench Street
Smith Square
London, SW1P 3HE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.niesr.ac.uk/staff/staffdetail.php?StaffID=307

Antti Kauhanen

ETLA, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ( email )

Arkadiankatu 21B
Helsinki, 00100
Finland

HOME PAGE: http://staff.etla.fi/kauhanen/

Mari Kangasniemi

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

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