Occupational Status and Health Transitions

31 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2011 Last revised: 3 Mar 2011

See all articles by Brant Morefield

Brant Morefield

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

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

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 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.

Suggested Citation

Morefield, Brant and Ribar, David C. and Ruhm, Christopher J., Occupational Status and Health Transitions (February 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16794. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1768552

Brant Morefield (Contact Author)

Abt Associates, Inc.

55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-1168
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University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro ( email )

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

David C. Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

Christopher J. Ruhm

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

235 McCormick Rd.
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Charlottesville, VA 22904-4893
United States
434-924-7581 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://batten.virginia.edu/cruhm.html

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

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