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Unfolding the relationship between mortality, economic fluctuations, and health in Italy

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  • Maddalena Cavicchioli

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
    University of Modena and Reggio, Emilia)

  • Barbara Pistoresi

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
    University of Modena and Reggio, Emilia
    University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

Abstract

Despite the long-run strong negative association between economic development and mortality, their short-run relationship remains controversial. In the present work, we study co-movement between mortality growth (overall, gender- and cause-specific) and economic fluctuations in Italy over the period 1862–2013. To this aim, we use Johansen (Econometrica 59:1551–1580, 1991) procedure to jointly estimate the short- and long-run dynamics of the two variables, avoiding omitted variable bias in the cyclical co-movement extraction or spurious association attributable to trends. We also take into account possible asymmetric responses of mortality growth to shocks in GDP. We find that an increase of 1% in real GDP per capita induces a reduction in mortality rate of 0.27% for total population. Moreover, we observe that business cycle fluctuations do not affect mortality in the pre-wars era, where only the long run decreases matters driven by reduction in infections and accidents mortality. On the contrary, in the post-wars period, expansive phases of business cycle are associated with reduction in mortality growth and periods of recession generate an ever-deeper decrease. However, in this period, mortality for cancer is procyclical and significantly increasing in expansion: this reinforces the debate for controlling environmental factors.

Suggested Citation

  • Maddalena Cavicchioli & Barbara Pistoresi, 2020. "Unfolding the relationship between mortality, economic fluctuations, and health in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(3), pages 351-362, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eujhec:v:21:y:2020:i:3:d:10.1007_s10198-019-01135-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s10198-019-01135-1
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortality; Economic fluctuations; Cointegration; Business cycles; Italy; Historical data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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