Are Pink Slips Better Than Flu Shots? The Effects of Employment on Influenza Rates
AbstractThe seasonal influenza virus afflicts between five and twenty percent of the U.S. population each year, imposing significant costs on those who fall ill, their families, employers, and the health care system. The flu is transmitted via droplet spread or close contact, and certain environments, such as schools or offices, promote transmission. In this paper, we examine whether increases in labor market activities are associated with an increased incidence of the flu. Flu data come from the Centers for Disease Control. We check the robustness of our results using unique data from Google Flu Trends. Using a first-difference two stage least squares estimation approach, we find that a one percentage point increase in the employment rate increases the number of influenza related doctor visits by about 8.1 additional flu-related doctor visits per 1000 doctor visits for all causes. To put this in perspective, on average, 33 additional people out of every 100,000 new employees will have a flu-related doctor visit. The results are robust across several specifications.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15796.
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Note: HE LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.