Dying to Work: Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Health

81 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alexander Ahammer

Alexander Ahammer

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics

Analisa Packham

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

Using administrative data for Upper Austrian workers from 2003--2013, we show that an extension in unemployment insurance (UI) duration increases unemployment length and impacts worker physical and mental health. These effects vary by gender. Specifically, we find that women eligible for an additional 9 weeks of UI benefits fill fewer opioid and antidepressant prescriptions and experience a lower likelihood of filing a disability claim, as compared to non-eligible unemployed women. Moreover, estimates indicate within-household spillovers for young children. For men, we find that extending UI benefit duration increases the likelihood of a cardiac event and eventual disability retirement filing.

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Suggested Citation

Ahammer, Alexander and Packham, Analisa, Dying to Work: Effects of Unemployment Insurance on Health (May 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27267, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3615463

Alexander Ahammer (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University Linz - Department of Economics ( email )

Altenbergerstrasse 69
A-4040 Linz, 4040
Austria

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.jku.at/ahammer/

Analisa Packham

Texas A&M University - Department of Economics ( email )

5201 University Blvd.
College Station, TX 77843-4228
United States

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