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Do economic cycles have a permanent effect on population health? Revisiting the Brenner hypothesis

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  • Audrey Laporte

    (Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Abstract

The Brenner hypothesis is essentially that economic cycles, characterized by unemployment and fluctuations in per capita income can have profound negative implications for population health. A number of subsequent studies have identified shortcomings in Brenner's model and have reported results that for the most part contradict his results. This paper argues that the failure to account for the time-series properties (i.e. the potential for unit root behaviour) of macro level data is a key omission in Brenner's and other subsequent studies. To address this omission an error correction model specification was applied to American data for the period 1948-1996. The findings suggest that economic cycles do have a permanent effect on population health. Paradoxically, they also suggest that economic growth and increases in unemployment reduce aggregate mortality risk. A need for measures of economic change that are perhaps more sensitive to the effects of economic cycles on groups that may be at greater risk of unemployment was identified. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/hec.854
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2004)
Issue (Month): 8 ()
Pages: 767-779

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:13:y:2004:i:8:p:767-779

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," Working Papers 9912, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
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Cited by:
  1. Jason M. Lindo, 2013. "Aggregation and The Estimated Effects of Local Economic Conditions on Health," NBER Working Papers 19042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. José Tapia granados, 2008. "Macroeconomic fluctuations and mortality in postwar Japan," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 323-343, May.
  3. Layte, Richard & Nolan, Anne, 2013. "Socioeconomic Differentials in Male Mortality in Ireland: 1984-2008," Papers WP470, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  4. Tapia Granados, José A. & Ionides, Edward L., 2008. "The reversal of the relation between economic growth and health progress: Sweden in the 19th and 20th centuries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 544-563, May.
  5. repec:clg:wpaper:2011-02 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. John Gathergood, . "Unemployment Expectations, Credit Commitments and Psychological Health," Discussion Papers 12/03, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  7. Heutel, Garth & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2013. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Working Papers 13-7, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  8. Arndt Reichert & Harald Tauchmann, 2011. "The Causal Impact of Fear of Unemployment on Psychological Health," Ruhr Economic Papers 0266, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Paresh Kumar Narayan, 2010. "Modelling health and output at business cycle horizons for the USA," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(7), pages 872-880.

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