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Economic cycles and heart disease in Mexico

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  • Quast, Troy
  • Gonzalez, Fidel

Abstract

While a considerable literature has emerged regarding the relationship between the business cycles and mortality rates, relatively little is known regarding how economic fluctuations are related to morbidity. We investigate the relationship between business cycles and heart disease in Mexico using a unique state-level dataset of 512 observations consisting of real GDP and heart disease incidence rates (overall and by age group) from 1995 to 2010. Our study is one of the first to use a state-level panel approach to analyze the relationship between the business cycle and morbidity. Further, the state and year fixed effects employed in our econometric specification reduce possible omitted variable bias. We find a general procyclical, although largely statistically insignificant, contemporaneous relationship. However, an increase in GDP per capita sustained over five years is associated with considerable increases in the incidence rates of ischemic heart disease and hypertension. This procyclical relationship appears strongest in the states with the lowest levels of development and for the oldest age groups. Our results suggest that economic fluctuations may have important lagged effects on heart disease in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Quast, Troy & Gonzalez, Fidel, 2014. "Economic cycles and heart disease in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 19-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:109:y:2014:i:c:p:19-25
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.03.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1988:78:10:1336-1342_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2012.300658_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
    4. Christopher Ruhm, 2007. "A healthy economy can break your heart," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 829-848, November.
    5. Fidel Gonzalez & Troy Quast, 2011. "Macroeconomic changes and mortality in Mexico," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 305-319, April.
    6. Gonzalez, Fidel & Quast, Troy, 2010. "Mortality and business cycles by level of development: Evidence from Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(12), pages 2066-2073, December.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    8. Cutler, David M. & Knaul, Felicia & Lozano, Rafael & Mendez, Oscar & Zurita, Beatriz, 2002. "Financial crisis, health outcomes and ageing: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 279-303, May.
    9. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
    10. Mendez, Oscar & Cutler, David & Knaul, Felicia & Lozano, Rafael & Zurita, Beatriz, 2002. "Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes, and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s," Scholarly Articles 2707939, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ólafsdóttir, Thorhildur & Hrafnkelsson, Birgir & Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur & Ásgeirsdóttir, Tinna Laufey, 2016. "The tax-free year in Iceland: A natural experiment to explore the impact of a short-term increase in labor supply on the risk of heart attacks," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 14-27.

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