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The Effect of Job Loss on Health: Evidence from Biomarkers

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  • Pierre-Carl Michaud
  • Eileen Crimmins
  • Michael Hurd

Abstract

The effect of job loss on health may play an important role in the development of the SES-health gradient. In this paper, we estimate the effect of job loss on objective measures of physiological dysregulation using longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study and biomarker measures collected in 2006 and 2008. We use a variety of econometric methods to account for selection and reverse causality. Distinguishing between layoffs and business closures, we find no evidence that business closures lead to worse health outcomes. We also find no evidence that biomarker health measures predict subsequent job loss becaue of business closures. We do find evidence that layoffs lead to diminished health. Although this finding appears to be robust to confounders, we find that reverse causality tends to bias downward our estimates. Matching estimates, which account for self-reported health conditions prior to the layoff and subjective job loss expectations, suggest even stronger estimates of the effect of layoffs on health as measured from biomarkers, in particular for glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Overall, we estimate that a layoff could increase annual mortality rates by 9.4%, which is consistent with other evidence of the effect of mass layoffs on mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Carl Michaud & Eileen Crimmins & Michael Hurd, 2015. "The Effect of Job Loss on Health: Evidence from Biomarkers," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-05, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2015s-05
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    File URL: https://cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/2015s-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:59:y:2018:i:c:p:78-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bloemen, Hans & Hochguertel, Stefan & Zweerink, Jochem, 2018. "Job loss, firm-level heterogeneity and mortality: Evidence from administrative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 78-90.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:eee:socmed:v:217:y:2018:i:c:p:73-83 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:socmed:v:214:y:2018:i:c:p:70-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:dem:demres:v:40:y:2019:i:47 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:zbw:espost:200400 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Thomas F. Crossley & Federico Zilio, 2018. "The health benefits of a targeted cash transfer: The UK Winter Fuel Payment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(9), pages 1354-1365, September.
    9. Lee, Y-W.;, 2019. "Effects of Parental Job Loss and Insecurity on Children’s Health: Evidence from Korea," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 19/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job loss; Health; SES-health gradient; Biomarkers;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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