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Title:Unemployment, Job Insecurity and Health: A Survey of Post-Unification Germany
Author(s):Geling, Olga Vladimirovna
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):H. Choldin
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:Previous research in sociology and epidemiology has shown strong adverse effects of unemployment on physical and psychological health. However, this research has two major limitations. First, researchers have ignored the effects of potential unemployment--job insecurity--and how its effects may differ from those of actual unemployment. Second, all of the studies have been done in either the U.S. or Western Europe. No study has examined the effects of unemployment or job insecurity on the health of persons living in the former socialist countries. The present study addresses two major questions. First, what is worse for health--unemployment or employment with high levels of job insecurity? Second, do the effects of unemployment and job insecurity differ between the capitalist and former socialist countries? I examine these questions using data from a national representative survey of 2,557 adults in unified Germany in 1992. I discovered that, first, employed persons have health that is better than the health of the unemployed only when those employed feel secure about their jobs. Second, the data show that the poorer health in East Germany (a former socialist society), as compared with West Germany (a capitalist society) results from both greater exposure and greater vulnerability of East Germans to unemployment and job insecurity. Furthermore, the present study challenges the dominating way of researching and thinking in epidemiology and public health--the way of focusing on rather proximate risk factors for major causes of morbidity and mortality. The present study of Germany after unification highlights the importance of placing these risk factors in a broad social context by showing that national economic and structural changes and the resulting growth in unemployment permeate the health of the population.
Issue Date:1997
Description:181 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9737112
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:1997

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