Short Summary:

We estimate the effects of employer downsizing on older workers’ health outcomes using different approaches, most of which yield results suggesting that downsizing increases the probability that older workers rate their health as fair or poor; increases the risk of showing symptoms of clinical depression; increases the risk of being diagnosed with stroke, arthritis, and psychiatric or emotional problems; and increases the risk of showing high levels of inflammation. We find that downsizing affects health through job insecurity and stress, but also likely through other mechanisms such as diminished morale and general demotivation. Our findings indicate that employers ought to consider actions to offset the detrimental health effects of reducing personnel on their remaining (older) workers.

Publication Authors: Italo A. Gutierrez and Pierre-Carl Michaud
Number: 15-11