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Insights on unemployment, unemployment insurance, and mental health

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  • Tefft, Nathan

Abstract

This paper contributes to the growing literature on the relationship between business cycles and mental health. It is one of the first applications in the economics literature to incorporate data on web searches from Google Insights for Search, and these unique data allow the opportunity to estimate the association between weekly unemployment insurance (UI) claims, in addition to monthly unemployment rates, and search indexes for "depression" and "anxiety". Results from state fixed effects models yield (1) a positive relationship between the unemployment rate and the depression search index and (2) a negative relationship between initial UI claims on the one hand and the depression and anxiety search indexes on the other. A lag analysis also shows that an extended period of higher levels of continued UI claims is associated with a higher depression search index.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 258-264

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:258-264

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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Keywords: Unemployment Fatal accidents Macroeconomic conditions Alcohol;

References

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  1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  3. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2009. "Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting," IZA Discussion Papers 4201, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  5. Berger, Magdalena & Wagner, Todd H. & Baker, Laurence C., 2005. "Internet use and stigmatized illness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1821-1827, October.
  6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  7. Mark J. Kamstra & Lisa A. Kramer & Maurice D. Levi, 2003. "Winter Blues: A SAD Stock Market Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 324-343, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Arndt Reichert & Harald Tauchmann, 2011. "The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 0266, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2012. "Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: Analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-751.
  3. Melissa McInerney & Jennifer M. Mellor & Lauren Hersch Nicholas, 2013. "Recession Depression: Mental Health Effects of the 2008 Stock Market Crash," CESifo Working Paper Series 4263, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 61-68.
  5. Mariya Melnychuk, 2012. "Mental health and economic conditions: how do economic fluctuations influence mental problems?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2012-08, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  6. Chad Cotti & Richard A. Dunn & Nathan Tefft, 2013. "The Dow is Killing Me: Risky Health Behaviors and the Stock Market," Working Papers 20, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
  7. Marjanovic, Zdravko & Greenglass, Esther R. & Fiksenbaum, Lisa & Bell, Chris M., 2013. "Psychometric evaluation of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS) in the context of the great recession," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-10.
  8. John Gathergood, . "Unemployment Expectations, Credit Commitments and Psychological Health," Discussion Papers 12/03, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).

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