A structural analysis of mental health and labor market trajectories

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



University of Bristol Department of Economics Discussion Paper Series


Publication date

July 29, 2020


We analyze the joint life-cycle dynamics of labor market and mental health outcomes. We allow for two-way interactions between work and mental health. We model selection into jobs on a labor market with search frictions, accounting for the level of exposure to stress in each job using data on occupational health contents. We estimate our model on British data from Understanding Society combined with information from O*NET. We estimate the impact of job characteristics on health dynamics and of the effects of health and job stress contents on career choices. We use our model to quantify the effects of job loss or health shocks that propagate over the life cycle through both health and work channels. We also estimate the (large) values workers attach to health, employment or non-stressful jobs. Lastly, we investigate the consequences on health, employment and inequality of trend changes in the distribution of job health contents.






Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest