Unemployment and Mental Health: Some Evidence from Panel Data
Microdata are used in this paper to analyze the effects of unemployment on mental health. The analysis is done in two steps. First, cross-section data of labor force participants are analyzed. It appears that the unemployed have worse mental health than the employed. Next, panel data are used to control for "fixed" effects, that is, unobserved omitted variables that are constant over time. The model is also specified to allow both the occurrence of and duration of unemployment to affect mental health. Then we cannot reject the hypothesis that there are no effects of unemployment on mental health. However, some sensitivity tests indicate that the precision of our estimates is rather low.
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