Unemployment and Mental Disorders - an Empirical Analysis
Centre for Labour Market and Social Research Working Paper No. 98-002
40 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 1999
Date Written: February 1998
The purpose of this paper is also to analyze the importance of unemployment and other social factors as risk factors for impaired mental health. It departs from previous studies in that we make use of information about first admissions to a psychiatric hospital or ward as our measure of mental illness. The database for our analyses has been constructed by merging two large Danish longitudinal data sets. The first is a panel of approximately 240.000 individuals which corresponds to 5 per cent of the Danish population aged 16-74, and contains detailed year-by-year information about the individuals' labour market behaviour, incomes, individual characteristics and so on from a fifteen-year period, 1976-91. The other panel is the Central Psychiatric Case register which contains all cases of psychic illness and their diagnoses (a little over 300.000 individuals and a little over one million cases) as registered in all Danish psychiatric hospitals and wards since 1969. The number of people found in both panels is a little over 15.000. We carry out analyses at two levels of the data. Firstly, we examine the determinants of first admission rates using aggregate time series data constructed from the Psychiatric case register. Secondly, we estimate conditional logistic regression models for case-control data on first admissions to a psychiatric hospital. The explanatory variables in the empirical analysis include age, gender, education, marital status, income, wealth, and unemployment (and length thereof) and other labour market statuses during the years preceding the first admission. This allows us to study whether unemployment as a risk factor differs between age groups, men and women, and single and married persons, and whether education and earnings have a moderating effect on the unemployment-mental illness relationship.
JEL Classification: I12, J69
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation