Insecure employment and mental health: one pathway in the productivity puzzle

We will link the Annual Survey of Hours and Earning with the Business Structure Database to form a large matched employer-employee dataset. Using this dataset, we aim to advance the understanding of insecure employment and productivity by identifying characteristics of the employers which could potentially benefit from reducing insecure employment. This project complements our ongoing research which values the benefits to employees, in terms of health-related quality of life, of limiting exposure to insecure employment.

Outcome and Translation

Our analysis indicates a causal negative relationship between insecure employment and labour productivity. The results predict that for each 1% reduction in insecure employment, the growth rate of labour productivity will increase by 0.7%. However, these effects are only observed within industries in the bottom half of the economy-wide labour productivity distribution - i.e. industries with relatively low productivity. Previously, we established a causal effect between insecure employment and mental health. The findings from these two pieces of research combine to indicate that by reducing insecure employment, employers can increase productivity and provide a health benefit to employees.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Daniel Kopasker

External Collaborators: C. Montagne (University of Aberdeen Business School)


Kopasker, D. and Montagna, C. (2019) Insecure employment and mental health: one pathway in the productivity puzzle, Small Project Report, Sheffield PIN - Productivity Insights Network, University of Sheffield.


Kopasker, D. (2020) 'Good work and mental health in the post-COVID era', Productivity Insights Network Webinar [Online], 16 July 2020.