Unemployment effects on the health of European elderly: Analyses from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 02 July 2019


Miller Theatre, Level 1, Old Canberra House Building 73, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Thang Vo, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


Ross McLeod, Seminar Convener, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

This paper examines the impact of unemployment on health outcomes of the European older population, with different aspects of job loss addressed. Unemployment hurts both physical and mental health, and there are adverse mental health effects on males due to plant closures or ambiguous reasons and on females due to layoffs. Unemployed women are reported to suffer higher levels of depression than men. Unemployment of at least twelve months may result in worsened physical and mental health, and even a short break of employment can cause mental health to deteriorate. Surprisingly, although losing one’s job once or twice harms health, becoming unemployed more than twice is not significantly different. Finally, being unemployed due to plant closures is more likely to influence people with higher depression levels, whereas the length of unemployment appears to be a problem for people who are less depressed. Being laid-off and increasing duration of unemployment negatively affect both groups.

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