Long and Healthy Careers? The Relationship between Occupation and Health and its Implications for the Statutory Retirement Age
80 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2013
Date Written: October 29, 2013
This paper investigates the relationship between occupation and health, and confirms that – also in the Netherlands in recent years – workers on a lower step of the occupational ladder on average report worse health, have a higher probability of disability and die earlier than workers in higher occupations. We sketch a theoretical framework to better understand the mechanisms underlying these disparities. Using the core insights derived from this model on selection and behavioral responses to changing workplace conditions, we review and assess the economic literature to date on occupation and health. After identifying the difficulties encountered in estimating causal effects of occupational characteristics on mental and physical health, we discuss how future research may try to overcome some of the crucial identification issues. We relate our findings to current policy issues with respect to occupational safety and the statutory retirement age, and discuss how future research could contribute to improved policy advice.
Keywords: Labour, health, occupation, aging, disability
JEL Classification: I10, J00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation