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Does job insecurity deteriorate health?


  • Eve Caroli
  • Mathilde Godard


This paper estimates the causal effect of perceived job insecurity – that is, the fear of involuntary job loss – on health in a sample of men from 22 European countries. We rely on an original instrumental variable approach on the basis of the idea that workers perceive greater job security in countries where employment is strongly protected by the law and more so if employed in industries where employment protection legislation is more binding; that is, in induastries with a higher natural rate of dismissals. Using cross-country data from the 2010 European Working Conditions Survey, we show that, when the potential endogeneity of job insecurity is not accounted for, the latter appears to deteriorate almost all health outcomes. When tackling the endogeneity issue by estimating an instrumental variable model and dealing with potential weak-instrument issues, the health-damaging effect of job insecurity is confirmed for a limited subgroup of health outcomes; namely, suffering from headaches or eyestrain and skin problems. As for other health variables, the impact of job insecurity appears to be insignificant at conventional levels.
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  • Eve Caroli & Mathilde Godard, 2016. "Does job insecurity deteriorate health?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 131-147, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:2:p:131-147

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    Cited by:

    1. Bassanini, Andrea & Caroli, Eve, 2014. "Is work bad for health? The role of constraint vs choice," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1402, CEPREMAP.
    2. Thomas Barnay, 2016. "Health, work and working conditions: a review of the European economic literature," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(6), pages 693-709, July.
    3. Johnston, David W. & Shields, Michael A. & Suziedelyte, Agne, 2017. "World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry," IZA Discussion Papers 11251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Goulas, Sofoklis, 2016. "Which degrees do students prefer during recessions?," MPRA Paper 75355, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Emilio, Colombo & Valentina, Rotondi & Luca, Stanca, 2016. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Health: Inspecting the Transmission Mechanism," Working Papers 337, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 31 Dec 2016.
    6. Daniele Vignoli & Valentina Tocchioni & Silvana Salvini, 2015. "Uncertain Lives. Insights into the Role of Job Precariousness in Union Formation," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2015_02, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    7. Gutierrez, Italo A. & Michaud, Pierre-Carl, 2015. "Employer Downsizing and Older Workers' Health," IZA Discussion Papers 9140, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Elena Pirani & Silvana Salvini, 2014. "Is temporary employment damaging to health? A longitudinal study on Italian workers," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2014_08, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    9. Reichert, Arndt R. & Tauchmann, Harald, 2017. "Workforce reduction, subjective job insecurity, and mental health," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 187-212.
    10. Italo A. Gutierrez & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2017. "Whistle While You Work: Job Insecurity and Older Workers' Mental Health in the United States," Cahiers de recherche 1702, Chaire de recherche Industrielle Alliance sur les enjeux économiques des changements démographiques.
    11. Moscone, F. & Tosetti, E. & Vittadini, G., 2016. "The impact of precarious employment on mental health: The case of Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 86-95.
    12. Bassanini, Andrea & Cingano, Federico, 2017. "Before It Gets Better: The Short-Term Employment Costs of Regulatory Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 11011, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Eric Delattre & Richard Moussa & Mareva Sabatier, 2015. "Health condition and job status interactions: Econometric evidence of causality from a French longitudinal survey," THEMA Working Papers 2015-19, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    14. Clémentine Garrouste & Mathilde Godard, 2015. "The Lasting Health Impact of Leaving School in a Bad Economy: Britons in the 1970s Recession," Working Papers halshs-01521916, HAL.
    15. Daniele Vignoli & Valentina Tocchioni & Silvana Salvini, 2016. "Uncertain lives: Insights into the role of job precariousness in union formation in Italy," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(10), pages 253-282, August.
    16. Elena Cottini & Paolo Ghinetti, 2016. "Employment insecurity and employees’ health in Denmark," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def045, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).

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