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Does a Slump Really Make You Thinner? Finnish Micro-level Evidence 1978 -2002

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Author Info

  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Johansson, Edvard
  • Helakorpi, Satu
  • Prättälä, Ritva
  • Vartiainen, Erkki
  • Uutela, Antti

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between height-adjusted weight and economic conditions in Finland, using individual microdata for the period 1978-2002. If anything, the results reveal that an improvement in regional economic conditions measured by the employment rate produces a decrease in BMI, other things being equal. The Finnish evidence presented does not support the conclusions reported for the USA, according to which temporary economic slowdowns are good for health. In contrast, at least BMI seems to increase during slumps. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 928.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:928

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Keywords: overweight; business cycles; health;

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References

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," NBER Working Papers 9468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1978. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 0274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Theodore J. Joyce & Naci H. Mocan, 1991. "Unemployment and Infant Health: Times-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee," NBER Working Papers 3694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Wealthier is healthier," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1150, The World Bank.
  7. Christopher Ruhm, 1994. "Economic Conditions and Alcohol Problems," NBER Working Papers 4914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," NBER Working Papers 9357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Freeman, Donald G., 1999. "A note on 'Economic conditions and alcohol problems'," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-668, October.
  11. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Black, William E., 2002. "Does drinking really decrease in bad times?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 659-678, July.
  12. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  16. Cutler, David & Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Colman, Gregory & Dave, Dhaval, 2013. "Exercise, physical activity, and exertion over the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 11-20.
  3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 11007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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