Does working time causally affect workers' health? We study this question in the context of a French reform which reduced the standard workweek from 39 to 35 hours, at constant earnings. Our empirical analysis exploits variation in the adoption of this shorter workweek across employers, which is mainly driven by institutional features of the reform and thus arguably exogenous to workers' health. Difference-in-differences and lagged dependent variable regressions reveal a positive effect of working hours on smoking and a negative effect on self-reported health. Results are robust to accounting for endogenous job mobility and differ by workers' occupations.
The Australian Government launched the My School website in 2010 to provide standardised information about the quality of schools to the Australian public. This paper combines data from this website with home sale s data for the state of Victoria to estimate the effect of the publication of school quality info rmation on property prices. We use a difference-indifference approach to estimate the causal effect of the releas e of information about high-quality and low-quality schools relative to medium-quality schools in the neighbourhood and find that the release of information about high-quality scho ols increases property prices by 3.6 percent, whereas the release of information about low- quality schools has no significant effect. The findings indicate that many buyers are unaware of the relevance of school quality information and that real estate agents pursue a strategy of disclosing information about high-quality schools to increase the sales pri ce. Results from a survey of Victorian real estate agents provide evidence in fa vor of this strategy.
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By increasing the residual working horizon of employed individuals, pension reforms that raise minimum retirement age are likely to affect individual investment in health-promoting behaviors before retirement. Using the exogenous variation in minimum retirement age induced by the sequence of Italian pension reforms during the 1990s and 2000s, we show that middle-aged Italian makes who were close to regiment age reacted to the expected longer working horizon by increasing regular exercise and by reducing smoking, with positive consequences for obesity and self-reported satisfaction with health.