IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Job loss does not cause ill health

  • Martin Salm


    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

I use longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study to estimate the effect of job loss on health for near elderly employees. Job loss is a major cause of economic insecurity for working age individuals, and can cause reduction in income, and loss of health insurance. To control for possible reverse causality, this study focuses on people who were laid off for an exogenous reason - the closure of their previous employers’ business. I find that the unemployed are in worse health than employees, and that health reasons are a common cause of job termination. In contrast, I find no causal effect of exogenous job loss on various measures of health. This suggests that the inferior health of the unemployed compared to the employed could be explained by reverse causality. I also use instrumental variable regression to estimate the effect of loss of health insurance, loss of income, and re-employment on health, and again find no statistically significant effects.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 08163.

in new window

Date of creation: 19 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:08163
Contact details of provider: Postal: Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy, Amalienstraße 33, 80799 München, Germany
Phone: +49/89/38602.442
Fax: +49/89/38602.490
Web page:

Order Information: Email:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Meer, Jonathan & Miller, Douglas L. & Rosen, Harvey S., 2003. "Exploring the health-wealth nexus," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 713-730, September.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
  5. Stewart, Jennifer M., 2001. "The impact of health status on the duration of unemployment spells and the implications for studies of the impact of unemployment on health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 781-796, September.
  6. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
  7. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
  8. Lindahl, Mikael, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Income on Health and Mortality Using Lottery Prizes as Exogenous of Variation in Income," IZA Discussion Papers 442, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2002. "How Does Job Loss Affect the Timing of Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 8780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Chan, Sewin & Stevens, Ann Huff, 2001. "Job Loss and Employment Patterns of Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 484-521, April.
  11. Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ettner, Susan L., 1996. "New evidence on the relationship between income and health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 67-85, February.
  13. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Displacement Induced Joblessness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 517-22, August.
  14. Melvin Stephens, Jr., 2003. "Job Loss Expectations, Realizations, and Household Consumption Behavior," NBER Working Papers 9508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Meyer, Bruce D, 1995. "Natural and Quasi-experiments in Economics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 151-61, April.
  16. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2003. "A note on the effect of unemployment on mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 505-518, May.
  17. Arrow, J. O., 1996. "Estimating the influence of health as a risk factor on unemployment: A survival analysis of employment durations for workers surveyed in the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-1990)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(12), pages 1651-1659, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:08163. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Henning Frankenberger)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.