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Downward mobility, unemployment and mortality

  • Sunnee Billingsley

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Registered author(s):

    This research offers fresh evidence 1) on the contribution of social mobility to health differentials by proposing a new link between downward mobility and health: downward mobility itself may have an immediate impact on health, above and beyond selection, origin or destination effects, and 2) on causes behind the mortality crisis in Russia by testing an innovative operationalization of the negative impact of economic crisis and transition. Specifically, downward mobility as well as unemployment are assessed in this study as possible contributors to increased risk of death from 1994-2005 in Russia. Using RLMS data and Cox proportional hazard models, the results demonstrate that men were at greater risk of mortality when they experienced downward mobility, relative to men who did not. Women’s mortality did not appear to be linked to downward mobility. Both men’s and women’s risk of death substantially increased when experiencing unemployment, relative to low-mid grade workers and relative to non-participation in the labor market. Whereas the impact of downward mobility appears immediate and short-term, the impact of unemployment was longer term and not limited to the year in which unemployment occurred for men. All findings were robust to adjustment of other potentially important factors such as alcohol consumption and health status that preceded downward mobility or unemployment. This robustness suggests that selection effect alone may not be a sufficient explanation for a high risk of death.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-015.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-015.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-015
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Stillman, Steven, 2006. "Health and nutrition in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union during the decade of transition: A review of the literature," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 104-146, January.
    2. Shkolnikov, Vladimir M. & Cornia, Giovanni A. & Leon, David A. & Mesle, France, 1998. "Causes of the Russian mortality crisis: Evidence and interpretations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 1995-2011, November.
    3. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Cutler, David M, 2005. "Autopsy on an Empire: Understanding Mortality in Russia and the Former Soviet Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 4900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Cockerham, William C., 2000. "Health lifestyles in Russia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1313-1324, November.
    5. Riphahn, Regina T. & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1998. "The Mortality Crisis in East Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 6, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Siegrist, Johannes, 2000. "Place, social exchange and health: proposed sociological framework," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1283-1293, November.
    7. Hart, Carole L. & Davey Smith, George & Blane, David, 1998. "Social mobility and 21Â year mortality in a cohort of Scottish men," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(8), pages 1121-1130, October.
    8. FFF1Vladimir M. NNN1Shkolnikov & FFF2Valeriy V. NNN2Chervyakov & FFF2David A. NNN2Leon & FFF2Martin NNN2McKee, 2004. "Russian mortality beyond vital statistics," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 2(4), pages 71-104, April.
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