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Does precarious employment ruin youth health and marriage? Evidence from Egypt using longitudinal data

Mesbah Fathy Sharaf (Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and Department of Economics, Faculty of Commerce, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt)
Ahmed Shoukry Rashad (Department of Economics, Faculty of Commerce, Damanhour University, Damanhour, Egypt)

International Journal of Development Issues

ISSN: 1446-8956

Article publication date: 4 August 2020

Issue publication date: 20 August 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze whether precarious employment is associated with youth mental health, self-rated health and happiness in marriage and whether this association differs by sex.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses longitudinal data from the Survey of Young People in Egypt conducted in 2009 and 2014 and estimates a fixed-effects model to control for time-invariant unobserved individual heterogeneity. The analysis is segregated by sex.

Findings

The results indicate that precarious employment is significantly associated with poor mental health and less happiness in marriage for males and is positively associated with poor self-reported health for females. The adverse impact of precarious work is likely to be mediated through poor working conditions such as low salary, maltreatment at work, job insecurity and harassment from colleagues.

Social implications

Governmental policies that tackle job precariousness are expected to improve population health and marital welfare.

Originality/value

Egypt has witnessed a significant increase in the prevalence of precarious employment, particularly among youth, in recent decades, yet the evidence on its effect on the health and well-being of youth workers is sparse. This paper adds to the extant literature by providing new evidence on the social and health repercussions of job precariousness from an understudied region.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the academic editor of this journal and the anonymous referees for the invaluable comments and suggestions that substantially improved the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank Caroline Krafft for her constructive suggestions on an earlier version of this paper. This work was sponsored by the Economic Research Forum (ERF) and has benefited from both financial and intellectual supports. The contents and recommendations do not necessarily reflect ERF’s views.

Citation

Sharaf, M.F. and Rashad, A.S. (2020), "Does precarious employment ruin youth health and marriage? Evidence from Egypt using longitudinal data", International Journal of Development Issues, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 391-406. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJDI-01-2020-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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