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Time series analysis of the relationship between unemployment and mortality: A survey of econometric critiques and replications of Brenner's studies


  • Wagstaff, Adam


M. Harvey Brenner's numerous time-series analyses of the relationship between population mortality rates and aggregate unemployment rates have attracted considerable attention from academics, policy-makers and the mass-media. Over the course of the last few years, however, Brenner's studies have begun to be subjected to critical scrutiny by econometricians. This paper provides a survey of these studies and concludes that--contrary to what is often claimed--Brenner's analyses do not provide convincing evidence that the social costs of unemployment include premature deaths.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:21:y:1985:i:9:p:985-996

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Temin, Peter, 1983. "Costs and benefits in switching drugs from Rx to OTC," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 187-205, December.
    2. Foster, S. D., 1990. "Improving the supply and use of essential drugs in sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 456, The World Bank.
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    1. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:25 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7024 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lin, Shin-Jong, 2006. "The effects of economic instability on infant, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality rates: Evidence from Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(9), pages 2137-2150, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Petri Böckerman & Edvard Johansson & Satu Helakorpi & Ritva Prättälä & Erkki Vartiainen & Antti Uutela, 2007. "Does a slump really make you thinner? Finnish micro-level evidence 1978-2002," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 103-107.
    8. Christopher Ruhm, 2007. "A healthy economy can break your heart," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 829-848, November.
    9. Tapia Granados, José A. & Ionides, Edward L., 2008. "The reversal of the relation between economic growth and health progress: Sweden in the 19th and 20th centuries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 544-563, May.
    10. Svensson, Mikael, 2007. "Do not go breaking your heart: Do economic upturns really increase heart attack mortality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 833-841, August.
    11. Timothy Halliday, 2006. "Income Risk and Health," Working Papers 200612, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    12. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    13. Mikael Svensson & Niclas Krüger, 2012. "Mortality and economic fluctuations," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1215-1235, October.
    14. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2001. "Economic Expansions Are Unhealthy: Evidence from Microdata," NBER Working Papers 8447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Robert Mcmurtry & Adalsteinn Brown, 1997. "The Bank Of Canada As A Determinant Of Health," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 179-187, January.
    16. Nguyen,Ha Minh & Nguyen,Huong, 2016. "Unemployment and mortality : evidence from the great recession," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7603, The World Bank.
    17. Timothy Halliday, 2006. "The Impact of Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Income Shocks on Health Outcomes: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 200606, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    18. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Prättälä, Ritva & Uutela, Antti, 2005. "Alcohol Mortality, Drinking Behavior, and Business Cycles: Are Slumps Really Dry Seasons?," Discussion Papers 986, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    19. C. Vilaplana & José M. Labeaga & S. Jiménez-Martín, 2006. "Further evidence about alcohol consumption and the business cycle," Working Papers 2006-06, FEDEA.
    20. Tapia Granados, José A., 2012. "Economic growth and health progress in England and Wales: 160 years of a changing relation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 688-695.

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