September 2019

IZA DP No. 12597: Personal Attitudes, Job Characteristics and Health

Using a new German individual data set, we investigate the influence on health with respect to personal traits measured by the Big Five, collegiality, commitment and job characteristics. Among the Big Five conscientiousness, agreeableness and emotional stability correlate positively with good health. Job characteristics like activities combined with substantial decision authority, no physically demanding tasks, pleasant environmental conditions, little time pressure and no necessity of multitasking affect health in the same direction. If employees get help if needed from their colleagues and if they do not feel unfairly criticized by others in the firm, they usually have no health problems. For mental health, all Big Five items are influential whereas no statistical significance could be found for the number of days workers were absent due to sickness except in cases of neuroticism.