Research Publication Title

Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Affect Employment?

Major

Economics

Faculty Mentor(s)

John R. Swinton

Abstract

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an increasingly common problem for military personnel. In addition to PTSD's physical and psychological impact, it may hamper a veteran's ability to find and maintain employment. Using data from Wave IV of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I estimate a probit model designed to analyze the effect of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on employment. I find that being diagnosed with PTSD does impact employment. However, PTSD often goes undiagnosed. Interestingly, Add Health also contains data on time spent in a combat zone, combat engagements and exposure to dead or wounded allies, enemies and civilians. When using these alternative measures, I find that exposure to situations often found to cause PTSD does negatively impact employment with significantly larger decreases in the probability of employment. These findings suggest that PTSD may affect employment, but there could be a measurement error in that many cases are likely going undiagnosed.

Start Date

10-4-2015 1:15 PM

End Date

10-4-2015 2:15 PM

Location

HSB 300

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Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Affect Employment?

HSB 300

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an increasingly common problem for military personnel. In addition to PTSD's physical and psychological impact, it may hamper a veteran's ability to find and maintain employment. Using data from Wave IV of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), I estimate a probit model designed to analyze the effect of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on employment. I find that being diagnosed with PTSD does impact employment. However, PTSD often goes undiagnosed. Interestingly, Add Health also contains data on time spent in a combat zone, combat engagements and exposure to dead or wounded allies, enemies and civilians. When using these alternative measures, I find that exposure to situations often found to cause PTSD does negatively impact employment with significantly larger decreases in the probability of employment. These findings suggest that PTSD may affect employment, but there could be a measurement error in that many cases are likely going undiagnosed.