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A Family Affair: Job Loss and the Mental Health of Spouses and Adolescents

Author

Listed:
  • Bubonya, Melisa

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

  • Wooden, Mark

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

Abstract

This study examines the impact of involuntary job loss on the mental health of family members. Estimates from fixed-effects panel data models, using panel data for Australia, provide little evidence of any negative spillover effect on the mental health of husbands as a result of their wives' job loss. The mental well-being of wives, however, declines following their husbands' job loss, but only if that job loss results in a sustained period of non-employment or if the couple experienced financial hardship or relationship strain prior to the husband's job loss. A negative effect of parental job loss on the mental health of co-resident adolescent children is also found, but appears to be restricted to girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Wooden, Mark, 2014. "A Family Affair: Job Loss and the Mental Health of Spouses and Adolescents," IZA Discussion Papers 8588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8588
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Milena Nikolova & Sinem Ayhan, 2016. "Your Spouse Is Fired! How Much Do You Care?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 891, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Melisa Bubonya & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & David C. Ribar, 2017. "The Bilateral Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Employment Status," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2017n10, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    unemployment; involuntary job loss; mental health; families; spouses; adolescents; HILDA Survey;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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