Journal article

Macroeconomic shocks, job security, and health evidence from the mining industry

DW Johnston, MA Shields, A Suziedelyte

American Journal of Health Economics | Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (MIT Press) | Published : 2020


How do exogenous changes in the macroeconomic environment affect workers’ perceived job security, and consequently, their mental and physical health? To answer this question, we exploit variation in world commodity prices over the period 2001–17 and analyze panel data that include detailed classifications of mining workers. We find that commodity price increases cause increases in perceived job security, which in turn, significantly and substantively improves 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 much larger when the effects of job insecurity, and not only unemployment, are consid..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This paper uses unit record data from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. The HILDA Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Department of Social Services (DSS) and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (Melbourne Institute). The findings and views reported in this paper, however, are those of the authors and should not be attributed to either the Department of Social Services or the Melbourne Institute.