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Is Work Bad for Health? The Role of Constraint versus Choice

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  • Eve Caroli

    (PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - Institute for the Study of Labor, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres, Legos - Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion des Organisations de Santé - Université Paris Dauphine-PSL - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres)

  • Andrea Bassanini

    (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, OCDE - Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economiques, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - Institute for the Study of Labor)

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 when employed and (ii) the extensive margin, i.e. whether an individual is in employment or not. 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

  • Eve Caroli & Andrea Bassanini, 2015. "Is Work Bad for Health? The Role of Constraint versus Choice," Post-Print halshs-01247138, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-01247138
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01247138
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudio Lucifora & Daria Vigani, 2018. "Health care utilization at retirement: The role of the opportunity cost of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(12), pages 2030-2050, December.
    2. Matteo Picchio & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Mental Health Effects of Retirement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 419-452, September.
    3. Michael C. Knaus & Steffen Otterbach, 2019. "Work Hour Mismatch And Job Mobility: Adjustment Channels And Resolution Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 227-242, January.
    4. 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).
    5. Pierre-Jean Messe & François-Charles Wolff, 2019. "Healthier when retiring earlier? Evidence from France," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(47), pages 5122-5143, October.
    6. Vincent Vandenberghe, 2020. "The Rather Limited Role Of Mental Ill Health In Driving Work Beyond 50," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2020020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    7. Eric Defebvre, 2016. "Harder, better, faster... yet stronger? Working conditions and self-declaration of chronic diseases," TEPP Working Paper 2016-07, TEPP.
    8. Hélène Blake & Clémentine Garrouste, 2017. "Collateral effects of a pension reform in France," Working Papers hal-01500683, HAL.
    9. Miranti, Riyana & Li, Jinjing, 2020. "Working hours mismatch, job strain and mental health among mature age workers in Australia," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 15(C).
    10. Éric Defebvre, 2018. "Harder, better, faster … Yet stronger? Working conditions and self‐declaration of chronic diseases," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 59-76, March.

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