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Health Effects of Occupational Change

  • Economics


Rapidly changing technologies and the growing openness of economies to international trade sometimes make entire occupations in the countries affected redundant. People employed in these occupations have to switch to other occupations that they do not necessarily like. Such “forced” occupational change causes stress, which can be harmful to their health. The effect of people losing their profession on their health has not been previously studied. This paper is intended to fill the gap. I study the effect of occupational change on health and health-related behavior using data from Russia’s economic transition, which was characterized by massive occupational mobility. The results show that “forced” occupational change has a significant negative effect on individual health; it also increases smoking and alcohol consumption. These results survive a number of robustness checks.

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