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Do people become healthier after being promoted?

  • Christopher J. Boyce
  • Andrew J. Oswald

This paper examines the hypothesis that greater job status makes a person healthier. It begins by successfully replicating the well-known cross-section association between health and job seniority. Then, however, it turns to longitudinal patterns. Worryingly for the hypothesis, the data-on a large sample of randomly selected British workers through time-suggest that people who start with good health go on later to be promoted. The paper can find relatively little evidence that health improves after promotion. In fact, promoted individuals suffer a significant deterioration in their psychological well-being (on a standard General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) mental ill-health measure).

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 (05)
Pages: 580-596

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:21:y:2012:i:5:p:580-596
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
  2. Paul Frijters & John Haisken-DeNew & Michael Shields, 2005. "Socio-Economic Status, Health Shocks, Life Satisfaction and Mortality: Evidence from an Increasing Mixed Proportional Hazard Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 496, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Macleod, John & Davey Smith, George & Metcalfe, Chris & Hart, Carole, 2005. "Is subjective social status a more important determinant of health than objective social status? Evidence from a prospective observational study of Scottish men," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 1916-1929, November.
  4. Justina A. V. Fischer & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2009. "Does job satisfaction improve the health of workers? New evidence using panel data and objective measures of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(1), pages 71-89.
  5. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
  6. Stephen E. Snyder & William N. Evans, 2006. "The Effect of Income on Mortality: Evidence from the Social Security Notch," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 482-495, August.
  7. West, Patrick, 1991. "Rethinking the health selection explanation for health inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 373-384, January.
  8. Deaton, A., 2001. "Health, Inequality, and Economic Development," Papers 200, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  9. Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003. "Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
  10. Lahelma, Eero & Valkonen, Tapani, 1990. "Health and social inequities in Finland and elsewhere," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 257-265, January.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. David M. Cutler & Angus S. Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
  14. Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Mortality and Immortality," IZA Discussion Papers 2560, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Michael Anderson & Michael Marmot, 2012. "The Effects of Promotions on Heart Disease: Evidence from Whitehall," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(561), pages 555-589, 06.
  16. David Cantarero & Marta Pascual, 2005. "Socio-Economic Status And Health: Evidence From The Echp," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 9(9), pages 1-17.
  17. Harriet Orcutt Duleep, 1986. "Measuring the Effect of Income on Adult Mortality Using Longitudinal Administrative Record Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 238-251.
  18. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  19. Adda, Jerome & Chandola, Tarani & Marmot, Michael, 2003. "Socio-economic status and health: causality and pathways," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 57-63, January.
  20. Mary C. Daly & Peggy McDonough & Greg J. Duncan & David Williams, 1999. "Optimal indicators of socioeconomic status for health research," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  21. Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Mortality and immortality: The Nobel Prize as an experiment into the effect of status upon longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1462-1471, December.
  22. Fuchs, Victor R., 2004. "Reflections on the socio-economic correlates of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 653-661, July.
  23. Paula K. Lorgelly & Joanne Lindley, 2008. "What is the relationship between income inequality and health? Evidence from the BHPS," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 249-265.
  24. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2005:i:9:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Griffin, Joan M. & Fuhrer, Rebecca & Stansfeld, Stephen A. & Marmot, Michael, 2002. "The importance of low control at work and home on depression and anxiety: do these effects vary by gender and social class?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 783-798, March.
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