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The Socio-Economic Background of Health in Austria. With Special Emphasis on the Role of the Employment Status


  • Gudrun Biffl



There are considerable differences in the incidence of sickness, the pattern of diseases and the duration of episodes of sickness by age, gender, education, and employment status. The employed have a significantly better health record than the unemployed. The analysis of health data of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) and micro-census data suggest that this is at least partly the result of explicit screening of the employed by their health record. In the wake of micro-economic reform, structural change and cyclical downturns, persons with a bad health record are amongst the first to be made redundant. In addition, unemployment per se may act as a psychological stress factor and through that mechanism exacerbate health problems. This fact has to be taken into account when drawing up measures to reintegrate unemployed, particularly long-term unemployed persons, into the labour market.

Suggested Citation

  • Gudrun Biffl, 2005. "The Socio-Economic Background of Health in Austria. With Special Emphasis on the Role of the Employment Status," Austrian Economic Quarterly, WIFO, vol. 10(1), pages 40-54, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wfo:wquart:y:2005:i:1:p:40-54

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leigh, J. Paul, 1985. "The effects of unemployment and the business cycle on absenteeism," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 159-170, May.
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