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Macht Ungerechtigkeit krank? Gesundheitliche Folgen von Einkommens(un)gerechtigkeit

SOEPpapers 662, 18 S.

Reinhard Schunck, Carsten Sauer, Peter Valet


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Theoretical research on inequity and social justice as well as experimental research indicate that perceived injustice may cause stress and thus may have negative effects on health. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) of the years 2005 to 2011, this study investigates if perceptions of earnings (un)fairness impact employees’ health. The analyses show that a change in the justice evaluation of one’s earnings coincides with a change in one’s health: Earnings that are evaluated as unjustly low are associated with a decline in subjective health. The analysis indicates that this effect is not due to respondents’ actual earnings or occupational position, but that the perception of one’s earnings as unjustly low appears to have an independent effect on respondents’ health. The study, moreover, shows that low-skilled employees, employees in temporary employment, and those with low gross hourly wages are particularly prone to perceiving their earnings as unjustly low.

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