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The reversal of the relation between economic growth and health progress: Sweden in the 19th and 20th centuries

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  • Tapia Granados, José A.
  • Ionides, Edward L.
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    Abstract

    Health progress, as measured by the decline in mortality rates and the increase in life expectancy, is usually conceived as related to economic growth, especially in the long run. In this investigation it is shown that economic growth is positively associated with health progress in Sweden throughout the 19th century. However, the relation becomes weaker as time passes and is completely reversed in the second half of the 20th century, when economic growth negatively affects health progress. The effect of the economy on health occurs mostly at lag 0 in the 19th century and is lagged up to 2 years in the 20th century. No evidence is found for economic effects on mortality at greater lags. These findings are shown to be robustly consistent across a variety of statistical procedures, including linear regression, spectral analysis, cross-correlation, and lag regression models. Models using inflation and unemployment as economic indicators reveal similar results. Evidence for reverse effects of health progress on economic growth is weak, and unobservable in the second half of the 20th century.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 544-563

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:544-563

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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    1. Sen, Amartya, 1981. "Public Action and the Quality of Life in Developing Countries," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 43(4), pages 287-319, November.
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    3. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," IZA Discussion Papers 654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
    5. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    6. Backus, David K & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1992. "International Evidence of the Historical Properties of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 864-88, September.
    7. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 2003. "The Impact Of Air Pollution On Infant Mortality: Evidence From Geographic Variation In Pollution Shocks Induced By A Recession," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1121-1167, August.
    8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
    9. Brenner, M. Harvey & Mooney, Anne, 1983. "Unemployment and health in the context of economic change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(16), pages 1125-1138, January.
    10. Wagstaff, Adam, 1985. "Time series analysis of the relationship between unemployment and mortality: A survey of econometric critiques and replications of Brenner's studies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 985-996, January.
    11. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana LLeras Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130, August.
    12. Audrey Laporte, 2004. "Do economic cycles have a permanent effect on population health? Revisiting the Brenner hypothesis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(8), pages 767-779.
    13. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
    14. Berend,Ivan T., 2006. "An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521672689, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Katja Hanewald & Thomas Post & Helmut Gründl, 2009. "Stochastic Mortality, Macroeconomic Risks, and Life Insurer Solvency," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-015, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    2. Ainhoa Aparicio & Libertad González, 2014. "Newborn Health and the Business Cycle: Is it Good to be Born in Bad Times?," Working Papers 702, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. He, Hui & Huang, Kevin X. D. & Hung, Sheng-Ti, 2014. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health? When Ruhm Meets GHH," Dynare Working Papers 31, CEPREMAP.
    4. Heutel, Garth & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2013. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Working Papers 13-7, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    5. Tapia Granados, José A., 2012. "Economic growth and health progress in England and Wales: 160 years of a changing relation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 688-695.
    6. Katja Hanewald, 2009. "Mortality modeling: Lee-Carter and the macroeconomy," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2009-008, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    7. Wolfgang H. Reichmuth & Samad Sarferaz, 2008. "The Influence of the Business Cycle on Mortality," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2008-059, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    8. José Tapia granados, 2008. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and mortality in postwar Japan," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 323-343, May.
    9. Mikael Svensson & Niclas Krüger, 2012. "Mortality and economic fluctuations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1215-1235, October.

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