Economic Context and Health over the Lifecourse

Project: Research project

Project Details


Project Abstract From 2007 to 2009, there was record high job loss in the United States with almost one out of every six workers reporting a job loss, leaving both the public and researchers worried about the long-term adverse consequences of unemployment for population health. While earlier cohorts of Americans could anticipate relatively stable employment across the life course, recent cohorts have experienced more layoffs, shutdowns, and increasingly unstable work, whereby they have increasingly varied unemployment experiences by midlife. Moreover, even short-term experiences of perceived job instability are related to declines in health, suggesting that long-term unemployment risks may have profound and enduring health consequences. Yet there is scant research on the impact to health of risk of job loss over time. This project will (1) identify group-based trajectories of unemployment risk experienced by men and women across the life course, (2) identify life course and labor market risk factors associated with greater unemployment risk across ages 25-45 and (3) apply multinomial treatment models to estimate the relationships between pathways of unemployment risk and likelihood to experience hypertension, stroke, arthritis, or other chronic diseases at age 50 that remain leading causes of hospitalization and death in the US. Identifying patterns of unemployment over time and how they connect to health could lead to targeted unemployment policies that will directly improve population health. Amidst heightened concerns about unemployment and economic instability in the wake of the Great Recession, these questions have direct relevance to keeping the American workforce healthier in the future.
Effective start/end date12/26/1711/30/20


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $89,126.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $81,619.00


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