Personal Attitudes, Job Characteristics and Health

53 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019

See all articles by Lutz Bellmann

Lutz Bellmann

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Olaf Hübler

University of Hannover; IZA Institute of Labor Economics


Using a new German individual data set, we investigate the influence on health with respect to personal traits measured by the Big Five, collegiality, commitment and job characteristics. Among the Big Five conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability correlate positively with good health. Job characteristics like activities combined with substantial decision authority, no physically demanding tasks, pleasant environmental conditions, little time pressure and no necessity of multitasking affect health in the same direction. If employees get help if needed from their colleagues and if they do not feel unfairly criticized by others in the firm, they usually have no health problems. For mental health, all Big Five items are influential whereas no statistical significance could be found for the number of days workers were absent due to sickness except in cases of neuroticism.

Keywords: health status, working conditions, commitment to a company, collegiality, personality traits

JEL Classification: I12, J53, J54

Suggested Citation

Bellmann, Lutz and Hübler, Olaf, Personal Attitudes, Job Characteristics and Health. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12597, Available at SSRN:

Lutz Bellmann (Contact Author)

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
+49 911 179 3046 (Phone)
+49 911 179 3297 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Olaf Hübler

University of Hannover ( email )

Institute of Quantitative Economic Research
D-30167 Hannover
+49 511 762 4794 (Phone)
+49 511 762 3923 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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