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GINI DP 86: Inequalities at work Job quality, Health and Low pay in European Workplaces


  • Elena Cottini

    () (Departments and Institutes of Economics, Institute for Industrial and Labour Economics)

  • Claudio Lucifora

    () (Instituto di Economia dell'Impresa e del Lavoro, Università Cattolica)


Using data from the two most recent waves of the European Working Conditions Survey we study inequalities in health, job quality and low pay in 15 European countries. Our health indicators refer to physical and mental health symptoms reported by the worker. A summary indicator of job quality is constructed using information on the working conditions experienced by the worker. Results show considerable differences within and between countries in the health status of workers, ceteris paribus. We show that bad jobs are correlated with adverse health conditions at work. We also show that specific cross-country features influence the relationship between job conditions and health problems, and that heterogeneity in job quality exists across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Elena Cottini & Claudio Lucifora, 2013. "GINI DP 86: Inequalities at work Job quality, Health and Low pay in European Workplaces," GINI Discussion Papers 86, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:86

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2004. "The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1671-1688, May.
    2. Eddy van Doorslaer & Andrew M. Jones, 2004. "Income-related inequality in health and health care in the European Union," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 605-608.
    3. Elena Cottini, 2012. "Is your job bad for your health? Explaining differences in health at work across gender," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 301-321, June.
    4. Rodriguez, Eunice, 2002. "Marginal employment and health in Britain and Germany: does unstable employment predict health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 963-979, September.
    5. Smith, James P, 1998. "Socioeconomic Status and Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 192-196, May.
    6. 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.
    7. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
    8. Cottini, Elena & Lucifora, Claudio, 2010. "Mental Health and Working Conditions in European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 4717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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