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Unemployment insurance reduces transitions into self-rated ill-health in 23 European countries study finds

The global financial crisis of 2008 is likely to have repercussions on public health in Europe, not least through escalating mass unemployment, fiscal austerity measures and inadequate social protection systems. The purpose of this study is to analyse the role of unemployment insurance for deteriorating self-rated health in the working age population at the onset of the fiscal crisis in Europe.

The results support the hypothesis that more extensive unemployment insurance programmes reduce transitions into self-rated ill-health at country level. Next, we subject the second hypothesis to empirical test, and investigate whether unemployment insurance also reduces socioeconomic health gradients. In this analysis of cross-level effects, focus is on the interplay between educational attainment at individual level and coverage rates at country level. The individual-level effects indicate that people with primary education are more likely to experience transitions into self-rated ill-health than people with tertiary education.

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The author also find a similar positive association between secondary educational attainment and transitions into ill-health, although effect size is somewhat smaller than for primary education. Here, it should be noted that unemployment status loses its association with self-rated health when education is controlled for, reflecting increased unemployment risks among people with lower education.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  Unemployment insurance and deteriorating self-rated health in 23 European countries — Ferrarini et al. 68 7: 657 — Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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