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Cumulative Effects of Job Characteristics on Health

Author

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  • Jason M. Fletcher
  • Jody L. Sindelar
  • Shintaro Yamaguchi

Abstract

We present what we believe are the best estimates of how job characteristics of physical demands and environmental conditions affect individual’s health. Five-year cumulative measures of these job characteristics are used to reflect findings in the physiologic literature that cumulative exposure is most relevant for the impact of hazards and stresses on health. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics we find that individuals who work in jobs with the ‘worst’ conditions experience declines in their health, although this effect varies by demographic group. For example, for non-white men, a one standard deviation increase in cumulative physical demands decreases health by an amount that offsets an increase of two years of schooling or four years of aging. Job characteristics are found more detrimental to the health of females and older workers. These results are robust to inclusion of occupation fixed effects, health early in life and lagged health.

Suggested Citation

  • Jason M. Fletcher & Jody L. Sindelar & Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2008. "Cumulative Effects of Job Characteristics on Health," Department of Economics Working Papers 2008-05, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2008-05
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; occupational characteristic;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy

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