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Facing the demographic challenge : the effect of effort-reward imbalance and control on self-rated health across EU countries : based on SHARE data wave 4

Schram, J.L.D. (2013) Facing the demographic challenge : the effect of effort-reward imbalance and control on self-rated health across EU countries : based on SHARE data wave 4.

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Abstract:Europe has been dealing with several crises over the last decade. Next to the current economic crisis, the overall ageing population is putting more pressure on the political systems. In the European Union it is expected that by 2020, people over 60 will comprise up to one third of the population. One result of this demographic challenge is that people will have to work longer in order to pay for the social services elderly people will need. The amount of people working in the age group 55-59 fluctuates in the European Union. Outside of the EU participation rates of elderly workers are much higher, for instance in Switzerland or Norway (Siegrist et al. 2006). Over the last couple of years most EU Member States have opted to increase the legislative pension age. To ensure that people will work longer they will have to be healthy in order to be able to work. In this paper one of the determinants of health, namely working conditions or quality of work, will be analyzed. The main question is to what extent does the quality of work done by elder workers influences their self-rated health? To answer this question the SHARE (Survey on Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) database will be used. In this database information on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of more than 85,000 individuals aged 50 or over is collected. My dependent variable will be self-rated health and my independent variables measuring quality of work will be effort-reward imbalance (ERI) and control at work. Sub questions are: Does the relationship between health, effort-reward imbalance and control vary between countries? and Does the country of residence affect self-rated health? First the influence the country has on my dependent variable, self-rated health, will be analyzed and later on the influence countries or groups of countries have on the effects of my independent variables, effort-reward imbalance and control, will be reflected upon. The structure of the paper is as follows: First, the demographic challenge will be elaborated on as well as the role the EU plays in facing this challenge. Active ageing is one of these policies aimed at keeping the political system viable. One of the ways to ensure that employees are able to work longer is to make sure their health is in order. In the chapter on literature data the theoretical models on health and work will be discussed. In order to determine the influence of quality of work on self-rated health, it is also necessary to look at other factors determining self-rated health. By accounting for these factors in the data analysis, the direct influence of quality of work on self-rated health will be more apparent. After accounting for all the theory, the data and data analysis will be discussed. Finally, I will reflect and return to the demographic challenge in the EU and how keeping people working will help fight that challenge.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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