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Dying to Work: Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Health

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  • Alexander Ahammer
  • Analisa Packham

Abstract

Using administrative data for Upper Austrian workers from 2003--2013, we show that an extension in unemployment insurance (UI) duration increases unemployment length and impacts worker physical and mental health. These effects vary by gender. Specifically, we find that women eligible for an additional 9 weeks of UI benefits fill fewer opioid and antidepressant prescriptions and experience a lower likelihood of filing a disability claim, as compared to non-eligible unemployed women. Moreover, estimates indicate within-household spillovers for young children. For men, we find that extending UI benefit duration increases the likelihood of a cardiac event and eventual disability retirement filing.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Ahammer & Analisa Packham, 2020. "Dying to Work: Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Health," NBER Working Papers 27267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27267
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    Cited by:

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    2. Martti Kaila & Emily Nix & Krista Riukula, 2021. "Disparate Impacts of Job Loss by Parental Income and Implications for Intergenerational Mobility," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 53, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    3. Alexander Ahammer & Dominik Grübl & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2020. "The health externalities of downsizing," CDL Aging, Health, Labor working papers 2020-05, The Christian Doppler (CD) Laboratory Aging, Health, and the Labor Market, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. José Ignacio Garcia-Pérez & Manuel Serrano-Alarcón & Judit Vall Castelló, 2020. "Long-term unemployment subsidies and middle-age disadvantaged workers’ health," Working Papers 2020/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Anna Hill & Isabel Musse & Yonatan Ben-Shalom & William Shaw, "undated". "The Impact of Local Labor Market Conditions on Opioid Transactions: Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 190b1e09d8804afe9be9ad3e3, Mathematica Policy Research.
    6. Lindo, Jason M. & Regmi, Krishna & Swensen, Isaac D., 2022. "Stable Income, Stable Family," IZA Discussion Papers 15267, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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