Mental and physical health: reconceptualising the relationship with employment propensity
While there has been significant research demonstrating the labour-market disadvantage experienced by people with mental health and physical disabilities, influential medical concepts of disability continue to shape explanations of such patterns. From this perspective, a higher rate of unemployment for people with health conditions is rational; they are impaired and are inherently less employable. The evidence from this paper challenges such conceptualisations of disability. It adopts a social model of disability and presents an empirical investigation into the impacts of mental and physical health on the propensity to be employed, yet recognises and addresses its distinct limitations in the case of mental health. Our results indicate that activity-limiting physical health and accomplishment-limiting mental health issues significantly affect the propensity to be employed. Further investigations reveal gender and ethnicity divides and that mental health is mostly exogenous to employment propensity. The empirical evidence provides quantitative and qualitative evidence that mental and physical health-related issues lead to economic exclusion.
|Date of creation:||06 Jan 2012|
|Date of revision:|
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