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The persisting effect of unemployment on health and social well-being in men early in working life

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  • Wadsworth, M.E.J
  • Montgomery, S.M
  • Bartley, M.J

Abstract

In our studies of the effects of unemployment in the early working life of men in a British national birth cohort we have shown elsewhere that this experience was part of a longer term accumulation of social and health disadvantage. This present study asks whether men's unemployment also inflicted potential longterm damage to future socio-economic chances and health. We therefore constructed indicators of socio-economic circumstances and health at 33 years from factors already shown to be associated with health in later life. For the socio-economic indicator we used a combination of income, occupational status and home ownership and described this as socio-economic capital. For the health indicator we combined scores of body mass index, leisure time exercise, frequency of eating fresh fruit and of smoking, and described this as health capital. After controlling for pre-labour market socio-economic and health factors, prolonged unemployment is shown here to reduce significantly both socio-economic and health capital by age 33 years. We conclude that the experience of prolonged unemployment early in the working life of this population of young men looks likely to have a persisting effect on their future health and socio-economic circumstances.

Suggested Citation

  • Wadsworth, M.E.J & Montgomery, S.M & Bartley, M.J, 1999. "The persisting effect of unemployment on health and social well-being in men early in working life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(10), pages 1491-1499, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:48:y:1999:i:10:p:1491-1499
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    Cited by:

    1. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2000. "The Effect of Non-Standard Employment on Mental Health in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 232, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2004. "The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1671-1688, May.
    3. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2009. "An Examination of the Dynamics of Happiness Using Vector Autoregressions," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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