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Job Displacement and Health Outcomes: A Representative Panel Study

Martin Browning, Anne Møller Danø and Eskil Heinesen ()
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Anne Møller Danø: Institute of Local Government Studies, Copenhagen, Denmark

No 2003-14, CAM Working Papers from University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics

Abstract: We investigate whether job loss as the result of displacement causes ill health. In doing this we use much better data than any previous investigators. Our data are a random 10% sample of the adult population of Denmark for the years 1981-1999. For this large representative panel we have very full records on demographics, health and work status for each person throughout the data period. As well as this we can link every person to a firm (if they are working) and can identify all workers who are displaced in any year, using a variety of definitions of displacement. We focus on one very precise health outcome, hospitalisation for stress related disease, since this is a grave condition and is widely thought to be likely to be associated with unemployment. We use the method of ‘matching on observables’ to estimate the counter-factual of what would have happened to the health of a particular group of displaced workers if they had not in fact been displaced. Our results indicate unequivocally that being displaced in Denmark does not cause hospitalisation for stress related disease. An analysis of the power of our test suggests that even though we are looking for a relatively rare outcome, our data set is large enough to show even quite small an effect if there were any. Supplementary analyses do not show any causal link from displacement or unemployment to our health outcomes for particular groups that might be thought to be more susceptible.

Keywords: unemployment; job displacement; health; matching on observables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 I18 J21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003-11
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