nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2022‒03‒21
two papers chosen by

  1. The Impact of Working Conditions on Mental Health: Novel Evidence from the UK. By Belloni, Michele; Carrino, Ludovico; Meschi, Elena
  2. Drivers of skill mismatch among Italian graduates: The role of personality traits By Esposito, Piero; Scicchitano, Sergio

  1. By: Belloni, Michele; Carrino, Ludovico; Meschi, Elena (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of working conditions on mental health in the UK, combining new comprehensive longitudinal data on working conditions from the European Working Condition Survey with microdata from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (Understanding Society). Our empirical strategy accounts for the endogenous sorting of individuals into occupations by including individual fixed effects. It addresses the potential endogeneity of occupational change over time by focusing only on individuals who remain in the same occupation (same ISCO), exploiting the variation in working conditions within each occupation over time. This variation, determined primarily by general macroeconomic conditions, is likely to be exogenous from the individual point of view. Our results indicate that improvements in working conditions have a beneficial, statistically significant, and clinically meaningful impact on depressive symptoms for women. A one standard deviation increase in the skills and discretion index reduces depression score by 2.84 points, which corresponds to approximately 20% of the GHQ score standard deviation, while a one standard deviation increase in working time quality reduces depression score by 0.97 points. The results differ by age: improvements in skills and discretion benefit younger workers (through increases in decision latitude and training) and older workers (through higher cognitive roles), as do improvements in working time quality; changes in work intensity and physical environment affect only younger and older workers, respectively. Each aspect of job quality impacts different dimensions of mental health. Specifically, skills and discretion primarily affect the loss of confidence and anxiety; working time quality impacts anxiety and social dysfunction; work intensity affects the feeling of social dysfunction among young female workers. Finally, we show that improvements in levels of job control (higher skills and discretion) and job demand (lower intensity) lead to greater health benefits, especially for occupations that are inherently characterised by higher job strain.
    Date: 2022–01
  2. By: Esposito, Piero; Scicchitano, Sergio
    Abstract: It is now well accepted that human capital is a heterogeneous aggregate and that non-cognitive skills are at least as relevant as cognitive abilities. In spite of this growing interest in the labour market consequences of personality traits, the relationship between these and educational and skill mismatch is scant. In this paper, we investigate the impact of the five main personality traits (Big 5) on educational and skill mismatch in Italian graduates. To this aim, we use the 2018 wave of the INAPP-PLUS survey, which contains information on skill mismatch, on the Big 5 personality traits, and on a large number of other individual and job-specific characteristics. The empirical analysis takes into account both demand and supply variables mediating the effect of personality on skill mismatch and controls for non-random selection into employment and tertiary education. We find that some personality traits reduce the probability of overeducation, suggesting complementarity between cognitive and non-cognitive skills. In addition, we find a positive effect of conscientiousness on both overeducation and overqualification. The evidence regarding job satisfaction suggests that individuals with high scores for conscientiousness voluntarily decide to be mismatched when this entails higher satisfaction in other dimensions of the job.
    JEL: C25 J24 J31 J82
    Date: 2022

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