Performance-related pay, mental and physiological health

Nicole Andelic* (Corresponding Author), Julia Allan, Keith A. Bender, Daniel Powell, Ioannis Theodossiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Much of the literature on performance-related pay (PRP) and poor health relies on self reported data, and the relationship is difficult to examine due to confounding variables. We examine the relationship between PRP and three groups of health measures using data from the UKHLS: blood pressure, inflammation markers in blood and self-reported health. Regressions correcting for self-selection bias and socio-demographic covariates find that PRP contracts are associated with poorer mental health, higher systolic blood pressure and higher levels of fibrinogen. These findings suggest that firms that use PRP may need to implement policies to mitigate against PRP-related stress.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalIndustrial Relations
Early online date16 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding from the ESRC is gratefully acknowledged (Grant ES/R01163X/1). We are grateful for access to the data from Understanding Society, an initiative funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and various Government Departments, with scientific leadership by the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, and survey delivery by NatCen Social Research and Kantar Public. The research data are distributed by the UK Data Service. We would also like to extend our thanks to attendants at the CELMR workshop at University of Aberdeen.

Data Availability Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available upon request from the UK Data Service in "Understanding Society: Waves 1-12, 2009-2021 and Harmonised BHPS: Waves 1-18, 1991-2009" at, study number 6614, as well as "Understanding Society: Waves 2-3 Nurse Health Assessment, 2010-2012" at, study number 7251.


  • performance-related pay
  • health
  • sample selection
  • stress
  • payment contracts


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