What Explains the Negative Effects of Unemployment on the Well-Being of Partners?

Jonas Vossemer, Umeå University
Anna Baranowska-Rataj , Umeå University

The negative effects of job losses and unemployment on the well-being of individuals are well documented. Research has also shown that these effects extend to other members of the family. However, the mechanisms that produce the spillover effects of unemployment on the well-being of partners and the extent to which they differ for women and men remain understudied. We use longitudinal data from the German Family Panel and apply fixed-effects panel models to estimate the total spillover effects. We then conduct mediation analyses for the two most frequently discussed mechanisms: relationship quality and financial situation. Our data allow us to measure the mechanisms on multiple dimensions and include objective and subjective indicators. Our preliminary results show that women are more negatively affected by unemployment of men than the other way around. Reduced relationship quality and lower financial satisfaction are found to be relevant mechanisms for women, but not for men.

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