Occupational Status and Life Satisfaction in the UK: The Miserable Middle?

Yannis Georgellis, Andrew Clark, Emmanuel Apergis, Catherine Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

We use British panel data to explore the link between occupational status and life satisfaction. We find puzzling evidence for men of a U-shaped relationship in cross-section data: employees in medium-status occupations report lower life satisfaction scores than those of employees in either low-or high-status occupations. This puzzle disappears in panel data: the satisfaction of any man rises as he moves up the status ladder. The culprit seems to be immobility: the miserable middle is caused by men who have always been in medium-status occupations. There is overall little evidence of a link between occupational status and life satisfaction for women, although this relationship for higher-educated women does look more like that for men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-527
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume204
Early online date7 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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