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Is Work bad for Health ? The Role of Constraint Versus Choice

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  • Eve Caroli
  • Andrea Bassanini

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the impact of work on health. We consider work along two dimensions: (i) the intensive margin, i.e. how many hours an individual works when employed and (ii) the extensive margin, i.e. whether an individual is in employment or not. We show that most of the evidence on the negative health impact of work found in the literature is based on situations in which workers have essentially no control (no choice) over the amount of work they provide. In essence, what is detrimental to health is not so much work per se as much as the gap which may exist between the actual and the desired amount of work, both at the intensive and extensive margins.

Suggested Citation

  • Eve Caroli & Andrea Bassanini, 2015. "Is Work bad for Health ? The Role of Constraint Versus Choice," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 119-120, pages 13-37.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2015:i:119-120:p:13-37
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.119-120.13
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    File URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.15609/annaeconstat2009.119-120.13
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    Cited by:

    1. Knaus, Michael C. & Otterbach, Steffen, 2016. "Work Hour Mismatch and Job Mobility: Adjustment Channels and Resolution Rates," IZA Discussion Papers 9735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Hélène Blake & Clémentine Garrouste, 2017. "Collateral effects of a pension reform in France," Working Papers hal-01500683, HAL.
    3. Eric Defebvre, 2016. "Harder, better, faster... yet stronger? Working conditions and self-declaration of chronic diseases," TEPP Working Paper 2016-07, TEPP.

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