Do people become healthier after being promoted?

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SUMMARY

This paper examines the hypothesis that greater job status makes a person healthier. It begins by successfully replicating the well-known cross-section association between health and job seniority. Then, however, it turns to longitudinal patterns. Worryingly for the hypothesis, the data–on a large sample of randomly selected British workers through time–suggest that people who start with good health go on later to be promoted. The paper can find relatively little evidence that health improves after promotion. In fact, promoted individuals suffer a significant deterioration in their psychological well-being (on a standard General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) mental ill-health measure). Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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