Abstract: In addition to the person-environment fit model (J. R. French, R. D. Caplan, & R. V. Harrison, 1982) and the demand-control model (R. A. Karasek & T. Theorell, 1990), a third theoretical concept is proposed to assess adverse health effects of stressful experience at work: the effort-reward imbalance model. The focus of this model is on reciprocity of exchange in occupational life where high-cost/low-gain conditions are considered particularly stressful. Variables measuring low reward in terms of low status control (e.g., lack of promotion prospects, job insecurity) in association with high extrinsic (e.g., work pressure) or intrinsic (personal coping pattern, e.g., high need for control) effort independently predict new cardiovascular events in a prospective study on blue-collar men. Furthermore, these variables partly explain prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, atherogenic lipids) in 2 independent studies. Studying adverse health effects of high-effort/low-reward conditions seems well justified, especially in view of recent developments of the labor market.