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Unemployment and Mortality: Evidence from the PSID

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  • Halliday, Timothy J.

    ()
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Abstract

In this paper, we use the death file from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to investigate the relationship between county-level unemployment rates and mortality risk. After partialling out important confounding factors including baseline health status as well as state and industry fixed effects, we show that poor local labor market conditions are associated with higher mortality risk for working-aged men. In particular, we show that a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate increases their mortality hazard by 6%. There is little to no such relationship for people with weaker labor force attachments such as women or the elderly. Our results contribute to a growing body of work that suggests that poor economic conditions pose health risks and illustrate an important contrast with studies based on aggregate data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7157.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7157

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Keywords: recessions; mortality; health; aggregation;

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  1. Halliday, Timothy J., 2007. "Business cycles, migration and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 1420-1424, April.
  2. Kate Strully, 2009. "Job loss and health in the U.S. labor market," Demography, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 221-246, May.
  3. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Income variance dynamics and heterogenity," IFS Working Papers W01/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Adda, Jérôme & Banks, James & Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von, 2008. "The Impact of Income Shocks on Health: Evidence from Cohort Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3329, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Svensson, Mikael, 2007. "Do not go breaking your heart: Do economic upturns really increase heart attack mortality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 833-841, August.
  7. Ann Huff Stevens & Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Mateusz Filipski, 2011. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Understanding Pro-cyclical Mortality," NBER Working Papers 17657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Halliday, Timothy J., 2012. "Earnings Growth and Movements in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 6367, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Martin Browning & Anne Moller Dano & Eskil Heinesen, 2006. "Job displacement and stress-related health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1061-1075.
  10. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2012. "Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: Analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-751.
  11. Christopher Ruhm, 1994. "Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems," NBER Working Papers 4914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-27, May.
  13. Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306, August.
  14. María E. Dávalos & Hai Fang & Michael T. French, 2012. "Easing The Pain Of An Economic Downturn: Macroeconomic Conditions And Excessive Alcohol Consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(11), pages 1318-1335, November.
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