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Title: Essays in health and labour economics
Author: Bartoll, Xavier
Director/Tutor: Ramos Lobo, Raúl
Keywords: Treball temporal
Jornada de treball
Salut mental
Crisi econòmica, 2008-2009
Temporary employment
Hours of labor
Mental health
Global Financial Crisis, 2008-2009
Issue Date: 26-Sep-2019
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] The main objective of the thesis, organised along four different research chapters, is to analyse how labour market conditions are associated with different health outcomes and how the economic crisis has affected this relationship. A first aim of the thesis is to analyse the job quality and health status of temporary employment versus permanent before and during the economic crisis in Spain. Previous research has identified that temporary workers tent to be engaged in low quality jobs and experience higher job insecurity. Moreover, during the economic crisis, temporary workers who “survive" mass layoffs may experience diminishing well-being due to the threat of the loss of employment. However, there is also evidence of an "other's unemployment" effect, i.e., increases in unemployment is positively associated with job satisfaction for survivors. Using data for Spain, the second chapter of the thesis shows that the quality of work for women with temporary employment worsens during the economic crisis but not for men. In addition to that, the job quality dimensions become differently valued during the economic crisis. It is known that temporary employment is related to work stress and poorer mental health, but in a widely heterogeneous way. For instance, temporary employment experiences greater job insecurity but in combination with less firm involvement and lower job demands could end with lower net job strain. In chapter three it is shown that in pre-crisis period to have temporary contracts impose a psychosocial burden for men compared to permanent, especially on those with lower probabilities of reemployment, but without changes during the economic crisis, except an increase for older men and those with university degree. No changes are observed for women. The second aim of this thesis is to explore the interrelation between working hours, job satisfaction and its effect on health outcomes. Previous research reports an adverse health effect of long working hours on a variety of health outcomes. Yet, other recent reviews and meta-analysis found weak or inconsistent support for this association. It is alleged that longitudinal studies are rarely used together with the potential omission of some key variables as working conditions among others. In fact, high job control or rewarding jobs can compensate for greater intensification and effort and even increase the supply of working hours. Therefore, the potential adverse effect of working hours on health can be confounded or moderated by job satisfaction. Using longitudinal data for Catalonia, the fourth chapter confirms that job satisfaction moderately confounds and modifies the effect of working hours on health status for men but to a lesser degree for women. Working long hours (41-47 h/w) predicts poorer self-perceived health. Moreover, the positive health effect of job satisfaction is reduced when working long hours. Unexpectedly, working very long hours (above 48 h/w) was protective for health among men. It is hypothesised that mismatches between actual and desired hours may help to explain this surprising result. A fact that is explored using cross-sectional European data. The fifth chapter shows associations between adverse mental distress and over- and underemployed rather than for unconstrained workers (included those working above 48 h/w). These findings give support to labour policies aimed at promoting flexibility on the employee side. A consistent finding along the different chapters of the thesis is that precariousness, job quality, and hours of work are relevant for well-being in terms of health outcomes, and the results are nuanced according to the voluntary nature and degree of worker control of working conditions.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Facultat - Economia i Empresa

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