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Does a slump really make you thinner? Finnish micro-level evidence 1978-2002

  • Petri Böckerman

    (Labour Institute for Economic Research, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Edvard Johansson

    (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Satu Helakorpi

    (National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Ritva Prättälä

    (National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Erkki Vartiainen

    (National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

  • Antti Uutela

    (National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland)

This paper explores the relationship between height-adjusted weight and economic conditions in Finland, using individual microdata for the period 1978-2002. If anything, the results reveal that an improvement in regional economic conditions measured by the employment rate produces a decrease in BMI, other things being equal. The Finnish evidence presented does not support the conclusions reported for the USA, according to which temporary economic slowdowns are good for health. In contrast, at least BMI seems to increase during slumps. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 103-107

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:103-107
DOI: 10.1002/hec.1156
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