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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


SOLE, Meritxell  and  RODRIGUEZ, Marisol. Disparities in the effect of working conditions on health between immigrant and native-born populations in Spain. Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.2, pp.145-150. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To examine the contribution of working conditions to permanent disability status in the immigrant and native-born populations in Spain by investigating the extent to which these two groups differ in terms of exposure to adverse working conditions and the impact of these conditions on disability status. Methods: We used a dataset containing ample information on working lives and disability status and specified three probit models that estimated the following: 1) the extent to which working conditions affect the probability of suffering permanent disability, calculated separately for immigrants and natives; 2) whether immigrants, in particular those from non-European Union-15 countries, have a higher probability of exposure to jobs with a greater rate of illness and injury risk; and 3) whether immigrants have a greater probability of being employed in jobs that concentrate three characteristics we consider to have adverse effects on health. Results: Working conditions (such as illness and injury risk, lack of autonomy, and temporary jobs) have a significant impact on health in both groups, although the effect is higher for Spanish-born workers. Immigrants, particularly non-European Union immigrants, are more likely to be employed in jobs with adverse health conditions. Conclusions: Working conditions have a strong effect on health, similar to that of other variables, such as education. While immigrants are less likely to suffer disability than native-born workers, these differences are diluted the longer they stay in Spain. A labor market that relegates immigrants to the riskier jobs can be expected to translate into future health inequalities.

Keywords : Disability; Immigration; Working conditions.

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