Do Working Conditions at Older Ages Shape the Health Gradient?

This study examines whether working conditions at the end of workers' careers impact health and contribute to health disparities across occupations. A dynamic panel correlated random effects model is used in conjunction with a rich data set that combines information from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), expert ratings of job demands from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), and mid-career earnings records from the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Master Earnings File (MEF). Results reveal a strong relationship between positive aspects of the psychosocial work environment and improved self-reported health status, blood pressure, and cognitive function. However, there is little evidence to suggest that working conditions shape observed health disparities between occupations in the years leading up to retirement.