Job loss, wealth and depression during the Great Recession in the USA and Europe.


Riumallo-Herl, C; Basu, S; Stuckler, D; Courtin, E; Avedano, M; (2014) Job loss, wealth and depression during the Great Recession in the USA and Europe. International journal of epidemiology. ISSN 0300-5771 DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyu048

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Abstract

AIM To examine whether late-career job loss increased depression among older workers approaching retirement in the USA and Europe. METHODS Longitudinal data came from the Health and Retirement Survey and the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe. Workers aged 50 to 64 years in 13 European countries and the USA were assessed biennially from 2006 to 2010. Individual fixed effects models were used to test the effect of job loss on depressive symptoms, controlling for age, sex, physical health, initial wealth and socio-demographic factors. RESULTS Job loss was associated with a 4.78% [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.823% to 8.74%] increase in depressive symptoms in the USA compared with a 3.35% (95% CI: 0.486% to 6.22%) increase in Europe. Job loss due to a worker's unexpected firm closure increased depression scores in both the USA (beta = 28.2%, 95% CI: 8.55% to 47.8%) and Europe (beta = 7.50%, 95% CI: 1.25% to 13.70%), but pooled models suggested significantly stronger effects for US workers (P < 0.001). American workers who were poorer before the recession experienced significantly larger increases in depressive symptoms compared with wealthier US workers (beta for interaction = -0.054, 95% CI: -0.082 to -0.025), whereas pre-existing wealth did not moderate the impact of job loss among European workers. CONCLUSIONS Job loss is associated with increased depressive symptoms in the USA and Europe, but effects of job loss due to plant closure are stronger for American workers. Wealth mitigates the impact of job loss on depression in the USA more than in Europe.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 24942142
Web of Science ID: 343972200024
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1785954

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