CCHE Seminar Series: The Effects of Self and Temporary Employment on Mental Health: The Role of the Gig Economy in the UK
Friday October 4, 2019, 10am-12pm, HSB 108 (155 College Street)
Abstract: We study the effect of both self and temporary employment on mental health in the UK. We match individual-level information on health and sociodemographic characteristics from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) between 2009 and 2016 with Google Trends data on the amount of search activity related to the gig economy. We use Google Trends data on Uber, Deliveroo, and Airbnb by commuting zone to instrument for the probability that an individual will be employed in a gig-type job. The Google Trends data are strong predictors of both self and temporary employment. Our findings suggest that self and temporary employment, as identified through gig-economy activity, have large positive effects on mental health. These effects exist for both men and women but are stronger for women and for older workers (ages 40-64). Our evidence points to issues of control in the job as potential drivers of the improvements in mental health.
Mark Stabile is the Stone Chaired Professor of Wealth Inequality and Professor of Economics at INSEAD. He directs the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre for the Study of Wealth Inequality at INSEAD. From 2007 to 2015 he was the founding Director of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto and Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. He is also a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics and a Policy Fellow at the Martin Prosperity Institute. From 2003-2005 he was the Senior Policy Advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance, where he worked on tax, health, and education policy. He is the recipient of the Carolyn Tuohy award in Public Policy, the John Polanyi Prize in Economics, the Harry Johnson Prize from the Canadian Economics Association and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Rotman School. His recent work focuses on inequality, poverty, child health, health care financing, and tax policy. He has advised the Governments of the United States, Canada, and Ontario, among others, on health care reform and programs to reduce child poverty. He is associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics. Professor Stabile received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and his BA from the University of Toronto.