One of those stories going the rounds about a month ago concerns a blogger in San Francisco, who worried he was wasting too much time on Facebook and Reddit. As he writes on his blog, he used a software app which tracked what he was doing with his time and found almost 19 hours a week went to these activities.
A number of developed countries now have linked employer-employee records, although to date I haven’t seen as many papers doing cool things with such data as I would expect. A new paper in the AEJ-Applied (ungated here) by Andrey Stoyanov and Nikolay Zubanov uses Danish data to show what is possible, and help provide some of the most convincing evidence yet that workers carry firm knowledge with them when they move.
If economists view mental health as one component of human capital, as we typically view physical health, then it’s a natural step to the corollary view that good mental health leads to productivity enhancing behaviors such as increased labor supply, greater effort, enhanced concentration, and so on. Given its productive role perhaps mental health, often neglected in the policy realm, deserves more attention. Unfortunately there are precious few studies till date that actually establish such a link between psychological health and productivity.