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Local labor market fluctuations and health: Is there a connection and for whom?

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  • Charles, Kerwin Kofi
  • DeCicca, Philip

Abstract

We examine the relationship between local labor market conditions and several measures of health and health behaviors for a sample of working-aged men living in the 58 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. We find evidence of procyclical relationships for weight-related health and mental health for men with low ex ante employment probabilities. Separate estimates suggest worsening labor market conditions lead to weight gains and reduced mental health among African-American men and lower mental health among less-educated males. Among our findings, those related to mental health are most pronounced.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles, Kerwin Kofi & DeCicca, Philip, 2008. "Local labor market fluctuations and health: Is there a connection and for whom?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1532-1550, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:6:p:1532-1550
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 1993. "Industrial Shifts, Skills Levels, and the Labor Market for White and Black Males," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 387-396, August.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    3. Christine Eibner & William N. Evans, 2005. "Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
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    5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1991:81:9:1148-1152_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
    8. Blank, Rebecca M, 1989. "Disaggregating the Effect of the Business Cycle on the Distribution of Income," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(222), pages 141-163, May.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    10. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
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