Journal Article

The reciprocal relationship between depressive symptoms and employment status

Published: 2019


This paper analyzes the reciprocal lagged relationship between depressive symptoms and employment status. We find that severe depressive symptoms contribute to a 25.6% increase in subsequent non-employment rates, a 20.7% increase in non-participation rates and 34.2% increase in unemployment rates, for men. Similar, although weaker, marginal effects are found for women. However, we find no evidence for men and only limited evidence for women that unemployment, non-employment, or non-participation raises the risks of severe depressive symptoms. We observe an impact of labor market status on depressive symptoms only when using point-in-time measures.


Bubonya, M., Cobb-Clark, D. A., & Ribar, D. C. (2019). The Reciprocal Relationship between Depressive Symptoms and Employment Status. Economics & Human Biology.