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Cumulative Effects of Job Characteristics on Health

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  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • Jody L. Sindelar
  • Shintaro Yamaguchi

Abstract

We examine whether the job characteristics of physical demands and environmental conditions affect individual’s health. Five-year cumulative measures of these job characteristics are used to reflect findings in the biologic and physiologic literature that indicate that cumulative exposure to hazards and stresses harms health. To create our analytic sample, we merge job characteristics from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles with the Panel Study of Income Dynamics dataset. We control for early and lagged health measures and a set of pre-determined characteristics to address concerns that individuals self-select into jobs. Our results indicate that individuals who work in jobs with the ‘worst’ conditions experience declines in their health, though this effect varies by demographic group. For example, for non-white men, a one standard deviation increase in cumulative physical demands decreases health by an amount that offsets an increase of two years of schooling or four years of aging. We also find evidence that job characteristics are more detrimental to the health of females and older workers. Finally, we report suggestive evidence that earned income, another job characteristic, partially cushions the health impact of physical demands and harsh environmental conditions for workers. These results are robust to inclusion of occupation fixed effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15121.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Publication status: published as Jason M. Fletcher & Jody L. Sindelar & Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2011. "Cumulative effects of job characteristics on health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 553-570, May.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15121

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Cited by:
  1. Bastian Ravesteijn & Hans van Kippersluis & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2013. "The Wear and Tear on Health: What Is the Role of Occupation?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 618, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Meyer S.C. & Künn-Nelen A.C., 2014. "Do occupational demands explain the educational gradient in health?," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
  3. Giuntella, Osea & Mazzonna, Fabrizio, 2014. "Do Immigrants Bring Good Health?," IZA Discussion Papers 8073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Fiorillo, Damiano, 2013. "Friends and health of the workers in Italy," MPRA Paper 44270, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Jason Fletcher, 2012. "The Effects of First Occupation on Long Term Health Status: Evidence from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 49-75, March.
  6. Bastian Ravesteijn & Hans van Kippersluis & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2013. "The Wear and Tear on Health: What is the Role of Occupation?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-143/V, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
  8. Ravesteijn, Bastian & van Kippersluis, Hans & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2013. "The Wear and Tear on Health: What is the Role of Occupation?," MPRA Paper 50321, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. David Cutler & Wei Huang & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "When Does Education Matter? The Protective Effect of Education for Cohorts Graduating in Bad Times," NBER Working Papers 20156, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Inas Rashad Kelly & Dhaval M. Dave & Jody L. Sindelar & William T. Gallo, 2011. "The Impact of Early Occupational Choice On Health Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 16803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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