The effect of self and precarious employment on mental health

Séminaire 16 avril 2019, 12h30 - 14h
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po


L'axe Discriminations et inégalités sociales du LIEPP est ravi de vous inviter au séminaire:

The effect of self and precarious employment on mental health

Mardi 16 avril 12h30 - 14h00

salle du LIEPP
254, boulevard Saint Germain


(sandwichs offerts)



Mark Stabile 

Stone Chaired Professor in Wealth Inequality and a Professor of Economics, INSEAD


In this paper, we study the effect of both self employment and precarious employment on health in the UK.  We match individual-level information on health and sociodemographic characteristics from the Understanding Society Longitudinal Study (2009-2016), with commuting area-level data on employment characteristics as well Google search data on the activity level in the gig economy. To estimate the causal effect of self and precarious employment on health, we use Google search queries on terms associated with gig economy employment in an area to instrument for the probability that an individual will be employed in a gig-type job (a proxy for gig economy demand). In addition we use travel to work area level information on the self and temporary employment to instrument for the probability that  an individual will be self or precariously employed. Both are strong predictors of self and temporary employment. Our findings suggest that, contrary to some previous studies, self employment and temporary employment are positively related with mental health. This is true both when looking only at those working as well as when comparing to all individuals of employment age. Further, examining sub-components of behaviour associated with mental health (sleep, physical activity, medication, smoking, drinking) we find a consistent pattern of improvements in these drivers of mental health for those who are self or temporary employed.