Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Is your job bad for your health? Explaining differences in health at work across gender

an article by Elena Cottini (Istituto di Economia dell’Impresa e del Lavoro, Università Cattolica, Milan, Italy) published in International Journal of Manpower Volume 33 Issue 3 (2012)


The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different measures of working conditions affect the health at work of female and male workers of 15 European countries. Particular attention is paid to the gender dimension of this relationship.
Using the European Working Conditions Survey from 2005 the author describes differences in health at work by gender accounting for both psychosocial and physical hazards at work. A Probit OLS estimator is used to obtain the relevant estimates and endogeneity problems have been properly addressed.
Results show that controlling for a broad selection of personal and work attributes, working conditions are associated with more work related health problems – both physical and mental. Importantly, some evidence is found in support of a different pattern by gender. With respect to mental health at work, males suffer more from high work demands/low job autonomy compared to females. Task segregation may play a role in explaining these differences. A less clear pattern across gender is found with respect to physical health problems at work. When the endogeneity of working conditions is taken into account, results are confirmed and show that the effect of working conditions on health at work is under-estimated when endogeneity is not accounted for.
The paper’s findings contribute to shed more light on the controversial analysis between working conditions and health according to gender.

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