Why are the unemployed in worse health? The causal effect of unemployment on health
We analyse the effect of unemployment on health using information from the German Socio-Economic Panel of the years 1991-2008. To establish a causal effect we rely on fixed-effects methods and plant closures as exogenous entries into unemployment. Although unemployment is negatively correlated with health, we do not find a negative effect of unemployment due to plant closure on health across several health measures (health satisfaction, mental health, and hospital visits). For this subgroup of the unemployed, unemployment does not seem to be harmful and selection effects of ill individuals into unemployment are likely to contribute to the observed overall correlation between poor health and unemployment.
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