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Are recessions harmful to health after all?: Evidence from the European Union

  • Athina Economou
  • Agelike Nikolaou
  • Ioannis Theodossiou

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of national unemployment rates on overall age and cause-specific mortality rates in a panel sample of 13 European Union countries. Design/methodology/approach – A fixed-effects model is used to control for unobserved time-invariant characteristics within countries. In addition, controls such as lifestyle risk factors, urbanisation and medical intervention indicators, for potential confounders are used. Findings – Contrary to some recent evidence this study shows that there is a strong, positive relationship between adverse economic conditions and mortality. This is in contrast to findings about the US case. Originality/value – This paper revisits the issue of the unemployment-mortality relationship by utilising fixed effect models with controls for various indicators that are expected to affect mortality, in contrast to previous studies.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Journal of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 35 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 368-384

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Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:35:y:2008:i:5:p:368-384
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