A reappraisal of the unemployment–mortality relationship: transitory and permanent effects

Keith A Bender, Ioannis Theodossiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Using US state-level data for 1974 to 2003, this article estimates a relationship that describes both the transitory and permanent effects of unemployment rates on mortality. It shows that the transitory effect of increasing unemployment rates is to decrease mortality. The permanent effect of increasing unemployment rates is to increase mortality. The detrimental effects of higher unemployment rates on health take a long time to become visible. The permanent scars of unemployment on population health are detrimental and overwhelming. They dwarf any opposite and transitory effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Health Policy
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • mortality
  • unemployment
  • transitory effects
  • permanent effects
  • cross-section data
  • recessions
  • time-series
  • job loss
  • health
  • suicide
  • Britain
  • youth
  • heart

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