The Effect of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Spouses – Evidence from Plant Closures in Germany

28 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2012

See all articles by Jan Marcus

Jan Marcus

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

Studies on health effects of unemployment usually neglect spillover effects on spouses. This study specifically investigates the effect of an individual’s unemployment on the mental health of their spouse. In order to allow for causal interpretation of the estimates, it focuses on an exogenous entry into unemployment (i.e. plant closure), and combines difference-in-difference and matching based on entropy balancing to provide robustness against observable and time-invariant unobservable heterogeneity. Using German Socio-Economic Panel Study data the paper reveals that unemployment decreases the mental health of spouses almost as much as for the directly affected individuals. The findings highlight that previous studies underestimate the public health costs of unemployment as they do not account for the potential consequences for spouses.

Keywords: unemployment, mental health, plant closure, entropy balancing, matching, job loss

JEL Classification: I12, J65

Suggested Citation

Marcus, Jan, The Effect of Unemployment on the Mental Health of Spouses – Evidence from Plant Closures in Germany (September 1, 2012). SOEPpaper No. 488. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2166741 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2166741

Jan Marcus (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
44
Abstract Views
456
PlumX Metrics