• Tom Nicholas


January 31, 2020, Paper, "Do white collar workers with lower social status in the occupational hierarchy die younger? The influential Whitehall studies of British civil servants identified a strong inverse relationship between employment rank and mortality, but we do not know if this effect generalizes. Using personnel files, census data and death records, I profile the lifespan and socioeconomic characteristics of a 1930 cohort of white collar workers employed at a leading American firm— General Electric. All had access to a corporate health and wellness program during a critical period associated with the health transition in the United States. I measure status using position in the managerial hierarchy, attendance at prestigious management training camps, and promotions, none of which is associated with a Whitehall-like rank-mortality gradient. Senior managers and executives appear to be the most susceptible to a mortality penalty. I discuss potential explanations for these contrasting findings." 

Non-HKS Author Website - Tom Nichols