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The Social Costs of Underemployment

Inadequate Employment as Disguised Unemployment

The Social Costs of Underemployment by David Dooley
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Going beyond the usual focus on unemployment, this 2004 book explores the health effects of other kinds of underemployment including forms of inadequate employment as involuntary part-time and poverty wage work. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this compares falling into unemployment versus inadequate employment relative to remaining adequately employed. Outcomes include self-esteem, alcohol abuse, depression, and low birth weight. The panel data permit study of the plausible reverse causation hypothesis of selection. Because the sample is national and followed over two decades, the study explores cross-level effects (individual change and community economic climate) and developmental transitions. Special attention is given to school leavers and welfare mothers, and, in cross-generational analysis, the effect of mothers' employment on babies' birth weights. There emerges a way of conceptualizing employment status as a continuum ranging from good jobs to bad jobs to employment with implications for policy on work and health.
Cambridge University Press; November 2003
286 pages; ISBN 9780511189012
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Title: The Social Costs of Underemployment
Author: David Dooley; JoAnn Prause