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Mental health and employment: The SAD story

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  • Tefft, Nathan

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measures and employment status in light of a constructed index related to Seasonal Affective Disorder that depends only on latitude and day of year. In models including demographic covariates and indicators for state, year, and quarter, more hours of darkness is associated with poorer HRQOL, which in turn is associated with a lower likelihood of employment. The relationships between the darkness index and HRQOL measures are stronger overall for women than for men. Inclusion of both the darkness index and the HRQOL measures in models of employment status determinants provides some evidence that the former operates through the latter in predicting a lower likelihood of employment. When specifying the darkness index as an instrument for HRQOL, each additional day of poor mental health per month leads to a 0.76 percentage point increase in the probability of unemployment among women.

Suggested Citation

  • Tefft, Nathan, 2012. "Mental health and employment: The SAD story," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 242-255.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:3:p:242-255
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.08.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fletcher, Jason M., 2018. "Crushing Hope: Short Term Responses to Tragedy Vary by Hopefulness," IZA Discussion Papers 11291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Cuesta, Maite Blázquez & Budría, Santiago, 2015. "Income deprivation and mental well-being: The role of non-cognitive skills," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 16-28.
    3. Nancy Reichman & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan, 2015. "Effects of maternal depression on couple relationship status," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 929-973, December.
    4. Kronenberg, C. & Jacobs, R. & Zucchelli, E., 2015. "The impact of a wage increase on mental health: Evidence from the UK minimum wage," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M. & Nicholas, Lauren Hersch, 2013. "Recession depression: Mental health effects of the 2008 stock market crash," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1090-1104.
    6. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Sinha, Kompal, 2015. "A lifecycle perspective of stock market performance and wellbeing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 237-250.
    7. Noonan, Kelly & Corman, Hope & Reichman, Nancy E., 2016. "Effects of maternal depression on family food insecurity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 201-215.
    8. Wehner, Caroline & Schils, Trudie & Borghans, Lex, 2016. "Personality and Mental Health: The Role and Substitution Effect of Emotional Stability and Conscientiousness," IZA Discussion Papers 10337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mental Health; Employment; Seasonal Affective Disorder;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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