The Effects of Youth Unemployment on Late Life Well-Being and Health in Europe

Olena Nizalova, University of Kent
Olga Nikolaieva , Kyiv School of Economics
Katerina Gousia, University of Kent
Michael Gebel, University of Bamberg

Since the start of the Great Recession many European countries have been witnessing unprecedented growth in unemployment rate, with youth being hit the hardest. This trend has raised concerns about the long-term consequences of unemployment and labour market insecurity while young on various outcomes. This paper exploits a unique opportunity provided by the retrospective module of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe to investigate the impact of involuntary job loss experienced at young age on physical and mental health as well as on reported wellbeing measures at age 50 and beyond. We find that early career involuntary has a long-lasting negative effects on both wellbeing, mental health and physical health, both in terms of levels and age trajectories. Partially, this effect can be attributed to changes in health-affecting behaviours – higher levels of BMI and lower levels of physical activity.

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 Presented in Session 89. Employment, Occupational Characteristics, and Health