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Mental and physical health: Re-assessing the relationship with employment propensity

Pacheco, Gail; Page, Dominic; Webber, Don J.


Gail Pacheco


There is significant research demonstrating the labour market disadvantage experienced by the disabled community. Yet, relationships between wider ill-health concepts and employment are poorly investigated. This article presents an empirical investigation into the impacts of poor mental and physical health on the propensity to be employed. The results indicate that activity-limiting physical health and accomplishment-limiting mental health issues significantly affect the propensity to be employed. Further investigations reveal the significance of an interacted variable that captures the multiplicative effect of both physical and mental health, illustrating that the combined effect of both health domains can be more influential than separate pathways. Additional empirical analysis highlights gender and ethnicity divides. It is also found that mental health is mostly exogenous to employment propensity. This research provides evidence that mental and physical health related issues can lead to economic exclusion. © The Author(s) 2014.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Work, Employment and Society
Print ISSN 0950-0170
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 28
Issue 3
Pages 407-429
APA6 Citation Pacheco, G., Page, D., & Webber, D. J. (2014). Mental and physical health: Re-assessing the relationship with employment propensity. Work, Employment and Society, 28(3), 407-429.
Keywords mental health, physical health, employment status, ethnicity, gender
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