Occupational Status and Health Transitions

32 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011

See all articles by David Ribar

David Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Brant Morefield

Abt Associates, Inc.; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

We use longitudinal data from the 1984 through 2007 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine how occupational status is related to the health transitions of 30 to 59 year-old U.S. males. A recent history of blue-collar employment predicts a substantial increase in the probability of transitioning from very good into bad self-assessed health, relative to white-collar employment, but with no evidence of occupational differences in movements from bad to very good health. These findings are robust to a series of sensitivity analyses. The results suggest that blue-collar workers "wear out" faster with age because they are more likely, than their white-collar counterparts, to experience negative health shocks. This partly reflects differences in the physical demands of blue-collar and white-collar jobs.

Keywords: occupations, physical demands, health

JEL Classification: I12, J24

Suggested Citation

Ribar, David C. and Ruhm, Christopher J. and Morefield, Brant, Occupational Status and Health Transitions (February 1, 2011). IZA Discussion Paper No. 5482. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1765647

David C. Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Christopher J. Ruhm

University of Virginia - Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Brant Morefield (Contact Author)

Abt Associates, Inc.

55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-1168
United States

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro ( email )

P.O.Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27412
United States

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