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

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  • Petri Böckerman
  • Edvard Johansson
  • Satu Helakorpi
  • Ritva Prättälä
  • Erkki Vartiainen
  • Antti Uutela

Abstract

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

    1. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
    2. Colman, Gregory & Dave, Dhaval, 2013. "Exercise, physical activity, and exertion over the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 11-20.
    3. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2012. "Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: Analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-751.
    4. Vandoros, Sotiris & Avendano, Mauricio & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2019. "The association between economic uncertainty and suicide in the short-run," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 220(C), pages 403-410.
    5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," Chapters, in: Andrew M. Jones (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Xin Xu & Robert Kaestner, 2010. "The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 15737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
    8. Kaiser, Micha & Reutter, Mirjam & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Strohmaier, Kristina, 2018. "Smoking and local unemployment: Evidence from Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 138-147.
    9. 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.
    10. Angelini, Viola & Mierau, Jochen O., 2014. "Born at the right time? Childhood health and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-43.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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