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The effect of unemployment on the mental health of spouses - Evidence from plant closures in Germany

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  • Jan Marcus;

Abstract

Studies on health effects of unemployment usually neglect spillover effects on spouses. This study specifically investigates the effect of an individual’s unemployment on the mental health of their spouse. In order to allow for causal interpretation of the estimates, it focuses on an exogenous entry into unemployment (i.e. plant closure), and combines difference-in-difference and matching based on entropy balancing to provide robustness against observable and time-invariant unobservable heterogeneity. Using German Socio- Economic Panel Study data the paper reveals that unemployment decreases the mental health of spouses almost as much as for the directly affected individuals. The findings highlight that previous studies underestimate the public health costs of unemployment as they do not account for the potential consequences for spouses.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 12/17.

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Date of creation: Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:12/17

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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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Keywords: unemployment; mental health; plant closure; entropy balancing; matching; job loss;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How much do spouses suffer from unemployment?
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2012-11-05 15:10:00
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Cited by:
  1. Hendrik Schmitz & Matthias Westphal, 2013. "Short- and Medium-term Effects of Informal Care Provision on Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 0426, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. André Hajek, 2013. "Life Satisfaction and Unemployment: The Role of Voluntariness and Job Prospects," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 601, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Peter Eibich, 2014. "Understanding the Effect of Retirement on Health Using Regression Discontinuity Design," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 669, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Nádia Simões & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira & Celeste A. Varum, 2013. "Measurement and Determinants of Health Poverty and Richness – Evidence from Portugal," Working Papers Series 2 13-08, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
  5. Eibich, P.;, 2014. "Understanding the effect of retirement on health using Regression Discontinuity Design," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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