The role of ill-health as a precursor of unemployment in France

Florence Jusot, Institut de Recherche et Documentation en Economie de la Santé (IRDES)
Myriam Khlat, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Thierry Rochereau
Catherine Sermet

In France, longitudinal studies on health in relation to job loss are scarce, and the most striking feature is the impressive mortality disadvantage of the unemployed. In this study, we build on the Health Care and Health Insurance Survey ( a longitudinal survey at the national level), to investigate whether preceived ill-health and unfavourable health-related behaviours are predictors of unemployment, and whether the pattern is the same in men and women. We find that ill-health is related to labour force exit for women but not for men, and that, for women, obesity increases the risk of moving into unemployment. Surprisingly, we also find that men who are regular smokers while employed have a greater probability of being jobless 4 years later. Those findings are interpreted within the framework of the selection/causation hypotheses, and discussed in relation to studies from other European and non-European countries on health and unemployment.

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Presented in Session 179: The longitudinal study of health