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Do people become healthier after being promoted?

  • Christopher J. Boyce
  • Andrew J. Oswald

This paper uses longitudinal data to explore whether greater job status makes a person healthier. Taking the evidence as a whole, promotees do not exhibit a health improvement after promotion. Instead the data suggest that workers with good health are more likely to be promoted. In the private sector, we find that job promotion significantly worsens people's psychological strain (on a GHQ score). For the public sector, there are some tentative signs of the reverse. We discuss caveats to our conclusions, suggest caution in their interpretation, and argue that further longitudinal studies are needed.

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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. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Fuchs, Victor R., 2004. "Reflections on the socio-economic correlates of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 653-661, July.
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  19. Rablen, Matthew D. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Mortality and Immortality," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 785, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  20. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:9:y:2005:i:9:p:1-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. 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.
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  23. West, Patrick, 1991. "Rethinking the health selection explanation for health inequalities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 373-384, January.
  24. 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.
  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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