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

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Author Info

  • Petri Böckerman

    (Labour Institute for Economic Research)

  • Edvard Johansson

    (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy)

  • Satu Helakorpi

    (National Public Health Institute)

  • Ritva Prättälä

    (National Public Health Institute)

  • Erkki Vartiainen Antti Uutela

    (National Public Health Institute)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between obesity and economic conditions in Finland, using individual microdata from 1978 to 2002. The results reveal that an improvement in regional economic conditions measured by the employment-to-population ratio produces a decrease in obesity over the period of investigation, other things being equal. This effect arises from the decline in the height-adjusted weight of people who are deeply overweight, (BMI>35). In addition, the effect is strongest for the people in later middle age (aged 45-65). The incidence of obesity is unrelated to the regional growth rate. All in all, 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 overweight increases during slumps.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0505011.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 13 May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0505011

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: overweight; business cycles; health;

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References

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  1. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 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.
  4. Sif Jónsdóttir & Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir, 2014. "The effect of job loss on body weight during an economic collapse," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 15(6), pages 567-576, July.

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