Rapp, T., Ronchetti, J., Sicsic, J. (2021). Are long-term care jobs harmful? Evidence from Germany. Accepted for publication, The European Journal of Health Economics. 10.1007/s10198-021-01288-y




Like many OECD countries, Germany is currently facing a shortage of long-term care (LTC) workers. This situation is concerning in the context of the ageing of the German population. A potential reason why Germany fails to recruit and retain LTC workers is that LTC jobs are particularly demanding (physical and psychological strain) which may be harmful to health. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence demonstrating this effect. This article fills the gap in the literature by exploring to what extent LTC jobs reduce workers’ health over time. We estimate a dynamic panel data model on the German Socio-Economic Panel (v.35; 1984–2018), which allows adressing selection issues into occupations. Our paper provides innovative findings on the impact of LTC occupations on workers’ health. We confirm that LTC jobs have a negative impact on self-reported health. Our results have strong policy implications: we emphasize the need to provide sufficient assistance to LTC workers, who are at risk of facing more health issues than other workers. This issue is key to increase the attractiveness of LTC jobs and reduce turnover in the LTC workforce.



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