Changes in Employed People’s Health Satisfaction

Monika Jungbauer-Gans, Gerhard Krug


The article examines for Germany whether the subjective satisfaction with health has changed over the course of time. It is analysed whether a drop in health satisfaction can be observed and whether this can be explained by changing employment circumstances. Labour market research has documented a change in the employment situation in detail, which can be subsumed under the keyword of precarisation. In the theoretical section we will portray the current state of research concerning the development of the employment situation and emphasize the significance of gainful employment for health. The empirical analyses of the article are based on data of employed people in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) of the years 1985, 1996 and 2009. The data show a significantly declining health satisfaction between 1985 and 2009 in Western Germany and no noteworthy change in Eastern Germany between 1996 and 2009. The Blinder/Oaxaca decomposition is used in the analyses to better differentiate the effect of the changed employment situation on the drop in health satisfaction. The analyses indeed reveal changing effects of the employment situation. In Western Germany, a significant percentage of the lesser health satisfaction can be attributed to an increasing number of workers in precarious employment situations. Workplace security is of primary significance for explaining the declining health satisfaction in Western Germany.


Satisfaction with health; Precarious employment; Change

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