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Mental Health and Working Conditions in European Countries

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Author Info

  • Cottini, Elena

    ()
    (University of Milan)

  • Lucifora, Claudio

    ()
    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Abstract

Increased pressure for labour market flexibility and increasing demand over workers' performance have fostered the idea that working conditions, in most European countries, have progressively deteriorated with adverse effects on psychological well being and mental health. This paper investigates the links between contractual arrangements, working conditions and mental health using time-series cross-section data for 15 European countries. We use different waves of the European Working Conditions Survey (1995, 2000, 2005) to document recent patterns in mental health at the workplace and to assess how these are related to various job attributes. We find substantial heterogeneity in mental health incidence at the workplace both across workers, as well as between countries. Given population heterogeneity in responses to mental health questions, we implement a methodology for differential reporting in ordered response models which allows for threshold shifts. We show that a set of workplace attributes, such as: working in shifts, performing complex and intensive tasks and having restricted job autonomy lead to a higher probability of reporting mental health problems. We also provide evidence of a positive causal effect of adverse overall working conditions on mental health distress. We show that labour market institutions, and health and safety regulations can explain a significant part of cross-country differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4717.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: ILR Review, 2013, 66 (4), 958-988
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4717

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Keywords: labour market institutions; mental health; health and safety regulation; working conditions;

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References

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  1. Böckerman, Petri & Ilmakunnas, Pekka, 2007. "Job disamenities, job satisfaction, quit intentions, and actual separations: putting the pieces together," MPRA Paper 3245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elena Cottini & Claudio Lucifora, 2013. "GINI DP 86: Inequalities at work Job quality, Health and Low pay in European Workplaces," GINI Discussion Papers, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies 86, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  2. Minelli, Liliana & Pigini, Claudia & Chiavarini, Manuela & Bartolucci, Francesco, 2014. "Employment status and perceived health condition: longitudinal data from Italy," MPRA Paper 55788, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Vincenzo Carrieri & Cinzia Di Novi & Rowena Jacobs & Silvana Robone, 2012. "Well-being and psychological consequences of temporary contracts: the case of younger Italian employees," Working Papers, Centre for Health Economics, University of York 079cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  4. Jones, Melanie K. & Latreille, Paul L. & Sloane, Peter J. & Staneva, Anita V., 2013. "Work-related health risks in Europe: Are older workers more vulnerable?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 18-29.
  5. Keith Bender & Colin Green & John Heywood, 2012. "Piece rates and workplace injury: Does survey evidence support Adam Smith?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 569-590, January.
  6. Caroli, Eve & Bassanini, Andrea, 2014. "Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University 123456789/12483, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Elena Cottini & Paolo Ghinetti, 2012. "Working Conditions, Lifestyles and Health," Economics Working Papers, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus 2012-28, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  8. Jones, Melanie K. & Latreille, Paul L. & Sloane, Peter J., 2011. "Job Anxiety, Work-Related Psychological Illness and Workplace Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 5809, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Jones, Melanie K. & Latreille, Paul L. & Sloane, Peter J. & Staneva, Anita V., 2011. "Work-Related Health in Europe: Are Older Workers More at Risk?," IZA Discussion Papers 6044, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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