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Short-run Effects of Job Loss on Health Conditions, Health Insurance, and Health Care Utilization

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  • Jessamyn Schaller
  • Ann Huff Stevens

Abstract

Job loss in the United States is associated with long-term reductions in income and long-term increases in mortality rates. This paper examines the short- to medium-term changes in health, health care access, and health care utilization after job loss that lead to these long-term effects. Using a sample with more than 9800 individual job losses and longitudinal data on a wide variety of health-related measures and outcomes, we show that job loss results in worse self-reported health, including mental health, but is not associated with statistically significant increases in a variety of specific chronic conditions. Among the full sample of workers, we see reductions in insurance coverage, but little evidence of reductions in health care utilization after job loss. Among the subset of displaced workers for whom the lost job was their primary source of insurance we do see reductions in doctor's visits and prescription drug usage. These results suggest that access to health insurance and care may be an important part of the health effects of job loss for some workers. The pattern of results is also consistent with a significant role for stress in generating long-term health consequences after job loss.

Suggested Citation

  • Jessamyn Schaller & Ann Huff Stevens, 2014. "Short-run Effects of Job Loss on Health Conditions, Health Insurance, and Health Care Utilization," NBER Working Papers 19884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19884
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Song, Younghwan, 2017. "The Effect of Job Displacement on Subjective Well-being," IZA Discussion Papers 10962, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Ezra Golberstein & Gilbert Gonzales & Ellen Meara, 2016. "Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 22459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:spr:jlabre:v:38:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s12122-017-9246-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Till Seuring & Pieter Serneels & Marc Suhrcke, 2016. "The impact of diabetes on labour market outcomes in Mexico: a panel data and biomarker analysis," Working Papers 134cherp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
    5. Averett, Susan L. & Smith, Julie K. & Wang, Yang, 2016. "The Effects of Minimum Wages on the Health of Working Teenagers," IZA Discussion Papers 10185, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Messe, Pierre-jean & Wolff, François-Charles, 2017. "Healthier when retiring earlier? Evidence from France," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1703, CEPREMAP.
    7. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Kühnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Bounding the Causal Effect of Unemployment on Mental Health: Nonparametric Evidence from Four Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10652, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Berniell, Maria Ines & Bietenbeck, Jan, 2017. "The Effect of Working Hours on Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Michele Di Maio & Roberto Nisticò, 2016. "The Effect of Parental Job Loss on Child School Dropout: Evidence from the Occupied Palestinian Territories," CSEF Working Papers 456, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 06 Feb 2018.
    10. Borgschulte, Mark & Martorell, Paco, 2016. "Paying to Avoid Recession: Using Reenlistment to Estimate the Cost of Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 9680, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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