Economic insecurity: A socioeconomic determinant of mental health

Daniel Kopasker* (Corresponding Author), Catia Montagna, Keith Bender

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Economic insecurity is an emerging topic that is increasingly relevant to the labour markets of developed economies. This paper uses data from the British Household Panel Survey to assess the causal effect of various aspects of economic insecurity on mental health in the UK. The results support the idea that economic insecurity is an emerging socioeconomic determinant of mental health, although the size of the effect varies across measures of insecurity. In particular, perceived future risks are more damaging to mental health than realised volatility, insecurity is more damaging for men, and the negative effect of insecurity is constant throughout the income distribution. Importantly, these changes in mental health are experienced without future unemployment necessarily occurring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-194
Number of pages11
JournalSSM - Population Health
Early online date15 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

The authors thank the anonymous referees of this journal, Paul Allanson, Nicholas
Rohde, and participants at the IARIW 34th General Conference for helpful
comments on an earlier draft of this paper. This work was supported by the
Economic and Social Research Council [ES/J500136].


  • economic insecurity
  • mental health
  • socioeconomic determinants of health


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