Job loss is bad for your health - Swedish evidence on cause-specific hospitalization following involuntary job loss

Soc Sci Med. 2009 Apr;68(8):1396-406. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.01.021. Epub 2009 Feb 23.


This paper examines the impact of job loss on a number of non-fatal health events, which are nonetheless severe enough to require hospital in-patient care. We focus on job loss due only to establishment closures, as this reduces the problem of distinguishing between causation and selection. Using linked employee-employer register data, we identify the job losses due to all establishment closures in Sweden in 1987 or 1988. During a subsequent 12-year period, we find that job loss significantly increases the risk of hospitalization due to alcohol-related conditions, among both men and women, and due to traffic accidents and self-harm, among men only. We find no evidence, however, that job loss increased the risk of severe cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction or stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Unemployment / psychology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology