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The Impact of Early Occupational Choice On Health Behaviors

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  • Inas Rashad Kelly
  • Dhaval M. Dave
  • Jody L. Sindelar
  • William T. Gallo

Abstract

Occupational choice is a significant input into individuals' health investments, operating in a manner that can be either health-promoting or health-depreciating. Recent studies have highlighted the potential importance of initial occupational choice on subsequent outcomes pertaining to morbidity. This study is the first to assess the existence and strength of a causal relationship between initial occupational choice at labor entry and subsequent health behaviors and habits. We utilize the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to analyze the effect of first occupation, as identified by industry category and blue collar work, on subsequent health outcomes relating to body mass index, obesity, alcohol consumption, and physical activity in 1999-2005. Our findings suggest that initial occupations described as craft, operative, and service are related to higher body mass index and obesity later in life, while labor occupations are related to higher probabilities of smoking later in life. Blue collar work early in life is associated with increased probabilities of obesity and smoking, and decreased physical activity later in life, although effects may be masked by unobserved heterogeneity. Few effects are found for the effect of initial occupation on alcohol consumption. The weight of the evidence bearing from various methodologies, which account for non-random unobserved selection, indicates that at least part of this effect is consistent with a causal interpretation. These estimates also underscore the potential durable impact of early labor market experiences on later health.

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  • Inas Rashad Kelly & Dhaval M. Dave & Jody L. Sindelar & William T. Gallo, 2011. "The Impact of Early Occupational Choice On Health Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 16803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16803
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    Cited by:

    1. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Urban China: New Evidence Using Heteroskedasticity Restrictions to Obtain Identification Without Exclusion Restrictions," Monash Economics Working Papers 33-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    2. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "A Matter of Weight? The Role of Spouses. Physical Attractiveness on Hours of Work," CHILD Working Papers Series 7, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    3. Harris, Matthew, 2015. "The impact of body weight on occupational mobility and career development," MPRA Paper 61924, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pierre-André CHIAPPORI & Sonia OREFFICE & Climent QUINTANA-DOMEQUE, 2016. "Black-White Marital Matching: Race, Anthtopometrics and Socioeconomics," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 399-421, December.
    5. Inas Kelly & Dhaval Dave & Jody Sindelar & William Gallo, 2014. "The impact of early occupational choice on health behaviors," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 737-770, December.
    6. Bastian Ravesteijn & Hans van Kippersluis & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2013. "The Wear and Tear on Health: What is the Role of Occupation?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-143/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2014. "It pays to be happy (if you are a man): Subjective wellbeing and the gender wage gap in Urban China," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 392-414, May.
    8. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Anna Matysiak, 2016. "The Causal Effects of the Number of Children on Female Employment - Do European Institutional and Gender Conditions Matter?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 343-367, September.
    9. Mishra, Vinod & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Estimating returns to schooling in urban China using conventional and heteroskedasticity-based instruments," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 166-173.
    10. Luisito Bertinelli & Arnaud Bourgain, 2016. "Tax Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Impact of Tax and Business Law Reforms," CREA Discussion Paper Series 16-04, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    11. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:108-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kajitani, Shinya, 2015. "Which is worse for your long-term health, a white-collar or a blue-collar job?," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 228-243.
    13. Luisito Bertinelli & Arnaud Bourgain, 2016. "Tax Mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Impact of Tax and Business Law Reforms," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1805-1810.
    14. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
    15. Vinod Mishra & Russell Smyth, 2013. "Are more senior academics really more research productive than junior academics? Evidence from Australian law schools," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 96(2), pages 411-425, August.
    16. Joelle Abramowitz, 2016. "The connection between working hours and body mass index in the U.S.: a time use analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 131-154, March.
    17. Sonia Oreffice & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2012. "Fat spouses and hours of work: are body and Pareto weights correlated?," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
    18. Hendrik Jürges & Eberhard Kruk & Steffen Reinhold, 2013. "The effect of compulsory schooling on health—evidence from biomarkers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 645-672, April.
    19. Cowan Benjamin & Tefft Nathan, 2012. "Education, Maternal Smoking, and the Earned Income Tax Credit," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-39, October.

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    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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