Advanced

The effect of working hours on health

Berniell, Inés and Bietenbeck, Jan LU (2020) In Economics and Human Biology 39.
Abstract

Does working time affect workers’ health behavior and health? We study this question in the context of a French reform that reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits arguably exogenous variation in the reduction of working time across employers due to the reform. We find that the shorter workweek reduced smoking by six percentage points, corresponding to 16% of the baseline mean. The reform also appears to have lowered BMI and increased self-reported health, but these effects are imprecisely estimated in the overall sample. A heterogeneity analysis provides suggestive evidence that while the impact on smoking was concentrated among blue-collar workers, body mass index... (More)

Does working time affect workers’ health behavior and health? We study this question in the context of a French reform that reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits arguably exogenous variation in the reduction of working time across employers due to the reform. We find that the shorter workweek reduced smoking by six percentage points, corresponding to 16% of the baseline mean. The reform also appears to have lowered BMI and increased self-reported health, but these effects are imprecisely estimated in the overall sample. A heterogeneity analysis provides suggestive evidence that while the impact on smoking was concentrated among blue-collar workers, body mass index decreased only among white-collar workers. These results suggest that policies which reduce working time could potentially lead to important health benefits.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
BMI, Health, Smoking, Working hours
in
Economics and Human Biology
volume
39
article number
100901
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:32673986
  • scopus:85087748337
ISSN
1570-677X
DOI
10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100901
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
0b00c9f5-6225-4565-b92e-b506b78d398d
date added to LUP
2020-07-21 12:56:31
date last changed
2021-04-06 04:41:56
@article{0b00c9f5-6225-4565-b92e-b506b78d398d,
  abstract     = {<p>Does working time affect workers’ health behavior and health? We study this question in the context of a French reform that reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits arguably exogenous variation in the reduction of working time across employers due to the reform. We find that the shorter workweek reduced smoking by six percentage points, corresponding to 16% of the baseline mean. The reform also appears to have lowered BMI and increased self-reported health, but these effects are imprecisely estimated in the overall sample. A heterogeneity analysis provides suggestive evidence that while the impact on smoking was concentrated among blue-collar workers, body mass index decreased only among white-collar workers. These results suggest that policies which reduce working time could potentially lead to important health benefits.</p>},
  author       = {Berniell, Inés and Bietenbeck, Jan},
  issn         = {1570-677X},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Economics and Human Biology},
  title        = {The effect of working hours on health},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100901},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100901},
  volume       = {39},
  year         = {2020},
}