Scutella, R; Wooden, M
(PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2008-07-01)
It is widely assumed that the economic and social costs that unemployment gives rise to must be exacerbated where joblessness is concentrated within families. This hypothesis is tested in this paper. Specifically, data from the first five waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), a nationally representative household panel survey administered in Australia, are used to test whether jobless individuals score worse on a measure of mental health when they live in households with other jobless people. Consistent with previous research, unemployment is found to be associated with lower levels of mental health. No evidence, however, can be found for any additional disadvantage to the unemployed stemming from living in a jobless household.