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

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  • Bassanini, Andrea

    () (OECD)

  • Caroli, Eve

    () (Université Paris-Dauphine)

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," IZA Discussion Papers 7891, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7891
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; work; retirement; hours worked; job loss; individual choice;

    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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