Work Satisfaction, Trauma and Economic Insecurity: Post-tsunami Sri Lanka

Working Paper

Published By

CDDRL Working Papers

January 2009

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This paper considers the links between the extent of economic security and subjective work satisfaction. Special attention is paid to the effects of individually and collectively traumatizing events as well as relative gains and losses. These are aspects of “well-being” that have attracted relatively little empirical research in developing countries. Individually traumatizing events depress work satisfaction more strongly than collective catastrophes. The data also suggests that the predominant focus on income in developing countries is too narrow. While both absolute and relative income constitute strong predictors, especially for men, there are many less costly ways to increase work satisfaction. Across the gender divide, the ability to perform work in accordance with one’s skills and to develop those skills (skill security) strongly increases work satisfaction. Occupational health and safety (work security) as well as participative measures (voice security) further significantly increases subjective work satisfaction.

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