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The Wear and Tear on Health: What is the Role of Occupation?

Ravesteijn, Bastian and van Kippersluis, Hans and van Doorslaer, Eddy (2013): The Wear and Tear on Health: What is the Role of Occupation?

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Although it seems evident that occupation affects health, effect estimates are scarce. We use a job characteristics matrix linked to German longitudinal data spanning 26 years to characterise occupations by their physical and psychosocial burdens. Employing a dynamic model to control for factors that simultaneously affect health and selection into occupation, we find that manual work and low job control both have a substantial negative effect on health that gets stronger with age. The effects of late-career exposure to high physical demands and low job control are comparable to a health deterioration due to ageing 12 and 19 months, respectively.

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