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Insights on unemployment, unemployment insurance, and mental health

  • Tefft, Nathan

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-521NW4T-1/2/1e9b5d6ca52d13e0134f378b3f54fbca
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Matthew E. Kahn & Matthew J. Kotchen, 2010. "Environmental Concern and the Business Cycle: The Chilling Effect of Recession," NBER Working Papers 16241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nikos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2009. "Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting," Research Notes of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 41, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
  4. Mark Kamstra & Lisa Kramer & Maurice Levi, 2002. "Winter blues: a SAD stock market cycle," Working Paper 2002-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
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