How do exogenous changes in the macroeconomic environment affect workers’ perceived job security, and consequently, their mental and physical health? To answer this question, we exploit variation in world commodity prices over the period 2001–17 and analyze panel data that include detailed classifications of mining workers. We find that commodity price increases cause increases in perceived job security, which in turn, significantly and substantively improves the mental health of workers. In contrast, we find no effects on physical health. Our results imply that the estimated welfare costs of recessions are much larger when the effects of job insecurity, and not only unemployment, are considered.
- Commodity prices
- Job security