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Health effects of unemployment benefit program generosity

Cylus, Jonathan, Glymour, M. Maria and Avendano, Mauricio (2015) Health effects of unemployment benefit program generosity. American Journal of Public Health, 105 (2). pp. 317-323. ISSN 0090-0036

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Identification Number: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302253

Abstract

Objectives: Unemployment has been linked to poorer health, but few studies identify policies that mitigate the negative health consequences of joblessness. Unemployment benefit programmes might protect health through several pathways, but a key methodological challenge is accounting for the fact that individuals who receive unemployment benefits differ from those who do not receive benefits. Methods: We link US state law data on maximum allowable unemployment benefit levels between 1985 and 2008 to individual self-rated health for heads of households in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and implement state and year fixed effect models. Results: Unemployment is associated with increased risk of reporting poor health among men in both linear probability (Beta =0.0794, 95% CI[Confidence Interval]: 0.0623, 0.0965) and logistic models (Odds ratio[OR] =2.777, 95%CI 2.294, 3.362), but this effect is lower when the generosity of state unemployment benefits is high (Beta for interaction between unemployment and benefits=-0.124, 95% CI: -0.197, -0.0523). A 63% increase in benefits completely offsets the impact of unemployment on self-reported health. Conclusions: Results suggest that unemployment benefits may significantly alleviate the adverse health effects of unemployment among men.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE Health and Social Care
Research centres and groups > ALPHA (Ageing, Lifecourse and Population Health Analysis)
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2014 08:35
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 01:58
Projects: 263684, R01AG040248, R01AG037398 and R01AG040248
Funders: European Research Council, National Institute on Aging, McArthur Foundation Research Network on Ageing, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/59921

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