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The effects of household joblessness on mental health

Listed author(s):
  • Scutella, Rosanna
  • Wooden, Mark

It is widely assumed that the economic and social costs that unemployment gives rise to must be exacerbated where joblessness is concentrated within families. This hypothesis is tested in this paper. Specifically, data from the first five waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), a nationally representative household panel survey administered in Australia, are used to test whether jobless individuals score worse on a measure of mental health when they live in households with other jobless people. Consistent with previous research, unemployment is found to be associated with lower levels of mental health. No evidence, however, can be found for any additional disadvantage to the unemployed stemming from living in a jobless household.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(08)00119-6
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 88-100

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:67:y:2008:i:1:p:88-100
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  1. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Sample Attrition in the HILDA Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 293-308, June.
  2. Andrew E. Clark, 2003. "Unemployment as a Social Norm: Psychological Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 289-322, April.
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
  4. Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
  5. Bruce Headey & Mark Wooden, 2004. "The Effects of Wealth and Income on Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(s1), pages 24-33, 09.
  6. Alois Stutzer & Rafael Lalive, 2004. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 696-719, 06.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  8. Rainer Winkelmann, 2005. "Subjective well-being and the family: Results from an ordered probit model with multiple random effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 749-761, October.
  9. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2005. "Employment Polarisation in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 336-350, December.
  10. M. Evans & Jonathan Kelley, 2004. "Effect of family structure on life satisfaction: australian evidence," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 69(3), pages 303-349, December.
  11. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
  12. Mark Wooden & Nicole Watson, 2007. "The HILDA Survey and its Contribution to Economic and Social Research (So Far)," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(261), pages 208-231, 06.
  13. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 133-154.
  14. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
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