Short-run effects of job loss on health conditions, health insurance, and health care utilization

Jessamyn Schaller, Ann Huff Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Job loss in the United States is associated with reductions in income and long-term increases in mortality rates. This paper examines the short-run changes in health, health care access, and health care utilization after job loss that lead to these long-term effects. Using a sample with more than 10,000 individual job losses and longitudinal data on a wide variety of health-related outcomes, we show that job loss results in worse self-reported health, activity limitations, and worse mental health, but is not associated with statistically significant increases in a variety of specific chronic conditions. Among the full sample of workers, we see reductions in insurance coverage, but little evidence of reductions in health care utilization after job loss. Among the subset of displaced workers with chronic conditions and those for whom the lost job was their primary source of insurance we do see reductions in doctor's visits and prescription drug usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-203
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Health Economics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Health
  • Health insurance
  • Layoffs
  • Unemployment
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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