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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 biological and physiological 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 PSID data set. We control for early and also lagged health measures and a set of pre‐determined characteristics to try 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. We also find some evidence that job characteristics are more detrimental to the health of females and older workers. Finally, we report suggestive evidence that earned income, a 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. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • 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:wly:hlthec:v:20:y:2011:i:5:p:553-570
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.1616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    2. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2001. "The Poor and the Dead: Socioeconomic Status and Mortality in the U.S., 1850-1860," NBER Historical Working Papers 0135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jody L. Sindelar & Jason Fletcher & Tracy Falba & Patricia Keenan & William T. Gallo, 2007. "Impact of First Occupation on Health at Older Ages," NBER Working Papers 13715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Miles S. Kimball & Claudia R. Sahm & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2009. "Risk Preferences in the PSID: Individual Imputations and Family Covariation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 363-368, May.
    5. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:8:910-918_2 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health ; occupational characteristics ;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

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