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Are recessions really good for your health? Evidence from Canada

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  • Ariizumi, Hideki
  • Schirle, Tammy

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between business cycle fluctuations and health in the Canadian context, given that a procyclical relationship between mortality rates and unemployment rates has already been well established in the U.S. literature. Using a fixed effects model and provincial data over the period 1977–2009, we estimate the effect of unemployment rates on Canadian age and gender specific mortality rates. Consistent with U.S. results, there is some evidence of a strong procyclical pattern in the mortality rates of middle-aged Canadians. We find that a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate lowers the predicted mortality rate of individuals in their 30s by nearly 2 percent. In contrast to the U.S. data, we do not find a significant cyclical pattern in the mortality rates of infants and seniors.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariizumi, Hideki & Schirle, Tammy, 2012. "Are recessions really good for your health? Evidence from Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1224-1231.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:74:y:2012:i:8:p:1224-1231 DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.038
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Huixia Wang & Chenggang Wang & Timothy J. Halliday, 2016. "Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2016-14, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    2. repec:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i::p:6-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:25 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Badi Baltagi & Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2016. "Special issue on the estimation of gravity models of bilateral trade: Editors’ introduction," Empirical Economics, Springer, pages 1-4.
    5. Sameem, Sediq & Sylwester, Kevin, 2017. "The business cycle and mortality: Urban versus rural counties," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 28-35.
    6. Orsini, Chiara & Avendano, Mauricio, 2015. "Macro-economic conditions and infanthealth: a changing relationship for blackand white infants in the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62307, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25, pages 6-24, November.
    8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    9. Nguyen,Ha Minh & Nguyen,Huong, 2016. "Unemployment and mortality : evidence from the great recession," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7603, The World Bank.
    10. Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse," NBER Working Papers 23192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. repec:eee:socmed:v:189:y:2017:i:c:p:11-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Huixia Wang & Chenggang Wang & Timothy Halliday, 2016. "Money and Credit: Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201615, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    13. Sif Jónsdóttir & Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir, 2014. "The effect of job loss on body weight during an economic collapse," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(6), pages 567-576, July.
    14. Luong, Phuc & Lusher, Lester & Yasenov, Vasil, 2017. "Sleep and Student Success: The Role of Regularity vs. Duration," IZA Discussion Papers 11079, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; Business Cycles; Health; Mortality; Canada;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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