The Global Financial Crisis and Employee Mental Health

CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2020-032

53 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2021

See all articles by Daniel Karpati

Daniel Karpati

Tilburg University

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Date Written: November 23, 2020


We find that the Global Financial Crisis (2007-2009) had an adverse effect on employee mental health. To identify the causal effects of the credit shock, we exploit the plausibly exogenous variation in firms’ need to refinance their long-term debt in 2008, a period when refinancing became more difficult due to tightening bank lending standards. Using administrative data from the Netherlands, we demonstrate that antidepressant use grew significantly more in the 2008-2012 period among employees of firms in need of high debt refinancing. A higher probability of job separation in these firms suggests lower job security as a transmission channel.

Keywords: Financial crisis, credit supply, mental health, job insecurity, human capital, work conditions, labor relations, financial distress, bankruptcy

JEL Classification: G01, G21, I12

Suggested Citation

Karpati, Daniel and Renneboog, Luc, The Global Financial Crisis and Employee Mental Health (November 23, 2020). CentER Discussion Paper Series No. 2020-032, Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Karpati

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC Noord-Brabant 5000 LE

Luc Renneboog (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
5000 LE Tilburg
+13 31 466 8210 (Phone)
+13 31 466 2875 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics