Does Labor Market Status Influence Self-Assessed Health?

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International Advances In Economic Research


This study examines whether individuals’ self-assessed health is related to their previous standing in the labor market and their self-assessed health at that time. We find that, once self-assessed health in the past is controlled for, none of the specified reasons behind individuals’ labor market status at that time, including the inability to find work, have a statistically significant adverse impact on current assessment of physical or mental health. We do find, however, that women obtaining a job in the past period will currently perceive that their physical health is improved, and that previously unemployed men with a job to return to in the current period also experienced perceptions of better health in the current period. We present evidence that these perceptions share a common factor with other health indicators such as sick days and quasi-objective measures of physical and mental health.