Papers

What Do Workplace Wellness Programs Do? Evidence from the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study (PDF)
Damon Jones, David Molitor, and Julian Reif

Abstract
Workplace wellness programs cover over 50 million workers and are intended to reduce medical spending, increase productivity, and improve well-being. Yet, limited evidence exists to support these claims. We designed and implemented a comprehensive workplace wellness program for a large employer with over 12,000 employees, and randomly assigned program eligibility and financial incentives at the individual level. Over 56 percent of eligible (treatment group) employees participated in the program. We find strong patterns of selection: during the year prior to the intervention, program participants had lower medical expenditures and healthier behaviors than non-participants. However, we do not find significant causal effects of treatment on total medical expenditures, health behaviors, employee productivity, or self-reported health status in the first year. Our 95% confidence intervals rule out 83 percent of previous estimates on medical spending and absenteeism. Our selection results suggest these programs may act as a screening mechanism: even in the absence of any direct savings, differential recruitment or retention of lower-cost participants could result in net savings for employers.

Documents

Online Surveys

2016 Baseline Survey (PDF)

     Interactive versions: (1) male, age 50 and over ; (2) male, age under 50 ; (3) female, age 50 and over ; (4) female, age under 50

2017 One-Year Follow-Up Survey (PDF)

     Interactive versions: (1) male, age 50 and over ; (2) male, age under 50 ; (3) female, age 50 and over ; (4) female, age under 50

In-Person Surveys

2016/2017 Health Expectations Surveys (PDF)

Software

WYOUNG: Multiple hypothesis testing in Stata

This Stata module controls the family-wise error rate when performing multiple hypothesis tests by estimating adjusted p-values using the free step-down resampling methodology of Westfall and Young (1993). The latest version can be downloaded by typing ssc install wyoung, replace at the Stata prompt. Detailed documentation is available here. The accompanying Stata code for the simulations reported in the documentation is available here.

Data

Information coming soon.