Effects of Layoffs and Plant Closings on Depression Among Older Workers


  • Jennie E. Brand
  • Becca R. Levy
  • William T. Gallo
Keywords: job displacement, layoff, plant closing, depression, Health and Retirement Study


Job displacement is widely considered a negative life event associated with subsequent economic decline and depression as established by numerous prior studies. However, little is known about whether the type of job displacement (i.e. layoffs versus plant closings) differentially affects depression and whether gender modifies these effects. We assess the effects of different ways in which a worker is displaced on subsequent depression among U.S. men and women nearing retirement. We hypothesize that layoffs should be associated with larger effects on depression than plant closings, particularly among men due to different social roles. Our findings generally support our hypotheses. We find that men have significant increases in depression as a result of layoffs, while women have significant increases in depression as a result of plant closings.


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