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Health shocks and well-being

Author

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  • Klaus F. Zimmermann

    () (Harvard University
    UNU–MERIT)

Abstract

Abstract Well-being is the ultimate objective of any labour movement. For long, efforts have concentrated on the provision of jobs and decent work conditions. Recently, however, labour economics has been focussing on health, in general, and mental health, in particular. It is time for labour economists to study this challenging issue. Typically, work is not the cause of poor mental health but, often, its cure. Decent work or earnings may help to avoid or moderate mental health issues. While in advanced societies the social effect of decent work may moderate illness, in developing economies sufficient earnings may pave the way out of natural causes of illness. This paper makes the case that natural arsenic poisoning of water affects the well-being of families negatively and causes substantial loss. Recent research for Bangladesh suggests that showing the symptoms of arsenic poisoning reduces well-being substantially. The impacts on mental health can be avoided or reduced through education and the relaxation of financial constraints on families.

Suggested Citation

  • Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2016. "Health shocks and well-being," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 59(1), pages 155-164, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijlaec:v:59:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s41027-016-0045-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s41027-016-0045-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Richard T. Carson & Phoebe Koundouri & Céline Nauges, 2010. "Arsenic Mitigation in Bangladesh: A Household Labor Market Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 407-414.
    2. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
    3. Alpaslan Akay & Corrado Giulietti & Juan Robalino & Klaus Zimmermann, 2014. "Remittances and well-being among rural-to-urban migrants in China," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 517-546, September.
    4. Richard Layard, 2013. "Mental health: the new frontier for labour economics," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-16, December.
    5. Chowdhury, Shyamal & Krause, Annabelle & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 2015. "Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water and Mental Health," CEPR Discussion Papers 10978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    7. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:11:1936-1937_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
    9. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Chaudhury, Nazmul, 2011. "Poisoning the mind: Arsenic contamination of drinking water wells and children's educational achievement in rural Bangladesh," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 873-888, October.
    10. Madajewicz, Malgosia & Pfaff, Alexander & van Geen, Alexander & Graziano, Joseph & Hussein, Iftikhar & Momotaj, Hasina & Sylvi, Roksana & Ahsan, Habibul, 2007. "Can information alone change behavior? Response to arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 731-754, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental health; Subjective well-being; Water pollution; Arsenic; Bangladesh;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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