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Are Recessions Good For Your Health?

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  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between economic conditions and health. Total mortality and eight of the ten sources of fatalities examined are shown to exhibit a procyclical fluctuation, with suicides representing an important exception. The variations are largest for those causes and age groups where behavioral responses are most plausible, and there is some evidence that the unfavorable health effects of temporary upturns are partially or fully offset if the economic growth is long-lasting. An accompanying analysis of microdata indicates that smoking and obesity increase when the economy strengthens, whereas physical activity is reduced and diet becomes less healthy. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 115 (2000)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 617-650

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:2:p:617-650

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  1. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hammarström, Anne & Janlert, Urban & Theorell, Töres, 1988. "Youth unemployment and ill health: Results from a 2-year follow-up study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 26(10), pages 1025-1033, January.
  4. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
  5. Yelowitz, Aaron S, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-39, November.
  6. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-42, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Kathryn H. Anderson & Richard V. Burkhauser, 1985. "The Retirement-Health Nexus: A New Measure of an Old Puzzle," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 20(3), pages 315-330.
  9. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Theodore Joyce & Naci Mocan, 1993. "Unemployment and Infant Health: Time-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 185-203.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. Junankar, P N, 1991. "Unemployment and Mortality in England and Wales: A Preliminary Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 305-20, April.
  13. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
  14. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1995. "Non-Employment and Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 5228, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  16. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
  17. Phelps, Charles E & Newhouse, Joseph P, 1974. "Coinsurance, the Price of Time, and the Demand for Medical Services," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(3), pages 334-42, August.
  18. 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.
  19. Forbes, John F. & McGregor, Alan, 1984. "Unemployment and mortality in post-war Scotland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 239-257, December.
  20. Akerlof, George A, 1991. "Procrastination and Obedience," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 1-19, May.
  21. Philip J. Cook & George Tauchen, 1982. "The Effect of Liquor Taxes on Heavy Drinking," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 379-390, Autumn.
  22. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Soss, Neal M, 1974. "An Economic Theory of Suicide," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 83-98, Jan.-Feb..
  23. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. AIG: The Fifth Horseman?
    by Charles Kenny in a fistful of euros on 2009-06-30 13:38:45
  2. Bad economy may be good for your health
    by Jason Shafrin in Healthcare Economist on 2008-10-08 06:13:21
  3. How Unemployment Can Make You Sick
    by David Dayen in firedoglake on 2010-12-29 00:45:39
  4. Does Unemployment Lead to Less Healthy Diets?
    by David Wessel in Real Time Economics on 2010-12-27 10:45:00
  5. Is this recession good for your health?
    by Sam Watson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-04-25 07:15:53
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