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The effects of unemployment on the probability of suffering a disability.
Work Occup 1987 Aug; 14(3):347-367
An earlier study concluded that an individual's chances of experiencing an illness or injury are increased by personal, undesirable job events, such as unemployment, but are not affected by fluctuations in aggregate unemployment statistics; this study tested whether the earlier conclusion were supported with national longitudinal data. The study considered aggregate statistics on unemployment and their possible positive association with health problems for individual members of the labor force and the increase of an individual's chances of suffering a disabling illness or injury as influenced by personal unemployment. Some flaws in the original study emerged, including flaws in measurement of unemployment, reciprocal causality between unemployment and ill health, and a geographically limited sample. Even correcting for these flaws, this study supported the earlier conclusion that personal experiences with unemployment are far more important than community wide experiences in predicting whether an individual will fall ill or suffer an injury. Evidence was also found that the effect of one's own unemployment increases at an increasing rate as the span of unemployment lengthens. The results also suggested that the probability of becoming disabled is positively associated with employment in a risky job, being recently divorced or widowed, and frequent overtime. It appeared to be negatively associated with years of schooling. Earnings, race and sex had no apparent effect.
NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Accident-analysis; Worker-health; Age-factors; Sex-factors; Psychological-stress; Education
Economics San Jose State Univ Foundation One Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192-0114
Issue of Publication
Work and Occupations
San Jose State University, San Jose, California
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division