How did the 2008-11 financial crisis affect work-related common mental distress? Evidence from 393 workplaces in Great Britain

Christoph Kronenberg (Lead / Corresponding author), Jan Boehnke

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    This paper analyses how the 2008-11 financial crisis relates to work-related common mental distress of those with continuous employment during the crisis. The literature connecting the 2008-11 financial crisis to common mental distress (anti-depressant drug use, suicide, etc.) generally estimates a negative effect. We used a sample of 393 workplaces from the 2011 Work and Employment Relations Study (WERS) for which employers and worker representatives agreed on that the crisis affected the workplace. WERS then provides detailed questions about how the financial crisis affected the workplace. We use these questions to show which crisis-induced work-changes are important for work related common mental distress. In the British-context, increased workload and changes in non-financial benefits of work are most relevant worsening work-related common mental distress by 1.8 and 0.9 on a scale from 0-30 respectively.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-200
    Number of pages8
    JournalEconomics and Human Biology
    Early online date16 Mar 2019
    Publication statusPublished - May 2019



    • 2008-11 financial crisis
    • 2011 WERS
    • Common mental distress
    • Economic shock
    • Recession

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