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Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice

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  • Bassanini, Andrea
  • Caroli, Eve

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on the impact of work on health. We consider work along two dimensions: (i) the intensive margin, i.e. how many hours an individual works and (ii) the extensive margin, i.e. whether an individual is in employment or not, independent of the number of hours worked. We show that most of the evidence on the negative health impact of work found in the literature is based on situations in which workers have essentially no control (no choice) over the amount of work they provide. In essence, what is detrimental to health is not so much work per se as much as the gap which may exist between the actual and the desired amount of work, both at the intensive and extensive margins.

Suggested Citation

  • Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve, 2014. "Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1402, CEPREMAP.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpm:docweb:1402
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    Cited by:

    1. Hélène Blake & Clémentine Garrouste, 2017. "Collateral effects of a pension reform in France," Working Papers hal-01500683, HAL.
    2. Stephan Humpert, 2014. "Working time, satisfaction and work life balance: A European perspective," SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, SPOUDAI Journal of Economics and Business, University of Piraeus, vol. 64(4), pages 3-17, October-D.
    3. Shvartsman, Elena & Beckmann, Michael, 2015. "Stressed by your job: What is the role of personnel policy?," Working papers 2015/15, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    4. Thomas Barnay, 2016. "Health, work and working conditions: a review of the European economic literature," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(6), pages 693-709, July.
    5. Lepinteur, Anthony, 2019. "The shorter workweek and worker wellbeing: Evidence from Portugal and France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 204-220.
    6. Golo Henseke, 2018. "Good jobs, good pay, better health? The effects of job quality on health among older European workers," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 19(1), pages 59-73, January.
    7. Eve Caroli & Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2016. "Is there a Retirement-Health Care utilization puzzle? Evidence from SHARE data in Europe," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def049, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    8. Nie, Peng & Otterbach, Steffen & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Long work hours and health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 212-229.
    9. Ernest Gonzales & Yeonjung Lee & Celeste Brown, 2017. "Back to Work? Not Everyone. Examining the Longitudinal Relationships Between Informal Caregiving and Paid Work After Formal Retirement," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 72(3), pages 532-539.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; work; retirement; hours worked; job loss; individual choice;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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