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Childhood Sexual Abuse and Later-Life Economic Consequences

Author

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  • Barrett, Alan

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • Kamiya, Yumiko

    () (Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

The impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on later-life health outcomes has been studied extensively and links with depression, anxiety and self-harm have been established. However, there has been relatively little research undertaken on the possible impact of CSA on later-life economic outcomes. Here, we explore whether older men who report having experienced CSA have weaker labour force attachment and lower incomes compared to other men. We use data from the first wave of the new Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) which is a nationally-representative survey of people aged 50 and over. We find that male victims of CSA are almost four times more likely to be out of the labour force due to sickness and disability. They also spent a higher proportion of their potential working lives out of the labour force for these reasons and have lower incomes. These effects remain even when we control for mental health difficulties and negative health behaviors. Among the policy implications are the need to be more aware of the complex effects of CSA when designing labour market activation strategies such as training for the unemployed. The results are also relevant in the legal context where compensation awards are determined.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Alan & Kamiya, Yumiko, 2012. "Childhood Sexual Abuse and Later-Life Economic Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 6332, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:5:753-760_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. John Robst & Stacy Smith, 2008. "The Effect of Childhood Sexual Victimization on Women's Income," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 34(1), pages 27-40, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark E. McGovern, 2016. "Progress and the Lack of Progress in Addressing Infant Health and Infant Health Inequalities in Ireland during the 20th Century," Economics Working Papers 16-05, Queen's Management School, Queen's University Belfast.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    later-life economic outcomes; childhood sexual abuse;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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