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The public health costs of job loss


Kuhn, Andreas; Lalive, Rafael; Zweimüller, Josef (2009). The public health costs of job loss. Journal of Health Economics, 28(6):1099-1115.

Abstract

We study the short-run effect of involuntary job loss on comprehensive measures of public health costs. We focus on job loss induced by plant closure, thereby addressing the reverse causality problem as job displacements due to plant closure are unlikely caused by workers' health status, but potentially have important effects on individual workers' health and associated public health costs. Our empirical analysis is based on a rich data set from Austria providing comprehensive information on various types of health care costs and day-by-day work history at the individual level. Our central findings are: (i) overall expenditures on medical treatments are not strongly affected by job displacement; (ii) job loss significantly increases expenditures for antidepressants and related drugs, as well as for hospitalizations due to mental health problems for men (but not for women) although the effects are economically rather small; and (iii) sickness benefits strongly increase due to job loss.

Abstract

We study the short-run effect of involuntary job loss on comprehensive measures of public health costs. We focus on job loss induced by plant closure, thereby addressing the reverse causality problem as job displacements due to plant closure are unlikely caused by workers' health status, but potentially have important effects on individual workers' health and associated public health costs. Our empirical analysis is based on a rich data set from Austria providing comprehensive information on various types of health care costs and day-by-day work history at the individual level. Our central findings are: (i) overall expenditures on medical treatments are not strongly affected by job displacement; (ii) job loss significantly increases expenditures for antidepressants and related drugs, as well as for hospitalizations due to mental health problems for men (but not for women) although the effects are economically rather small; and (iii) sickness benefits strongly increase due to job loss.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2009
Deposited On:21 Dec 2009 12:40
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0167-6296
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2009.09.004

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