World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry

42 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2018

See all articles by David W. Johnston

David W. Johnston

Monash University

Michael A. Shields

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Agne Suziedelyte

City University London

Abstract

A lack of job security is an increasingly prevalent characteristic of modern labour markets, and there is evidence that recent financial crises have exacerbated this issue. In this paper, we assess how exogenous changes in the macroeconomic environment affect workers' perceived job security, and the impact of job security on measures of mental and physical health. To identify these effects, we exploit variation in world commodity prices over the period 2001–15, and analyse 15 waves of individual-level panel data that includes unusually detailed classifications of mining workers. We find that commodity price movements drive changes in perceived job security, which in turn significantly and substantively affects the mental health of workers. In contrast, we find no effects on physical health. Our results imply that the estimated welfare costs of recessions are substantially larger when the effects of job insecurity on the health of workers is considered.

Keywords: job security, health, macroeconomic conditions, panel data

JEL Classification: J11, J21, I31

Suggested Citation

Johnston, David W. and Shields, Michael A. and Suziedelyte, Agne, World Commodity Prices, Job Security and Health: Evidence from the Mining Industry. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11251. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3097369

Michael A. Shields

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Victoria 3010, 3010
Australia
+61 3 8344 4656 (Phone)
+61 3 8344 6899 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Agne Suziedelyte

City University London ( email )

Northampton Square
London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/agnesuziedelyte/

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