IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/hlthec/v25y2016is2p93-112.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bad Times, Slimmer Children?

Author

Listed:
  • Cristina Bellés‐Obrero
  • Sergi Jiménez‐Martín
  • Judit Vall‐Castello

Abstract

Although the majority of the literature has confirmed that recessions are beneficial for adults' health and babies' outcomes at delivery, this effect should not necessarily be the same for children. In this paper, we study the effect of business cycle conditions on infant underweight, overweight, and obesity. We exploit eight waves of repeated cross‐sectional data (1987–2012) of the Spanish National Health Survey for children aged 2–15 and use the regional unemployment rate of the trimester of the interview as a proxy for the business cycle phase at the local level. We find that an increase in the unemployment rate is associated with lower obesity incidence, especially for children under 6 years old and over 12 years old. However, economic shocks also proof to have potentially negative consequences as they increase the prevalence of infant underweight for the same age groups. Moreover, we show that the possible mechanisms through which the cycle is impacting infant obesity is the nutritional composition of the children's diet, as well as, increases in the frequency of exercise. We provide some evidence that suggests that the impact of business cycle conditions on infant weight disorders have little objective health consequences in the short run. However, the potential long‐term effects may become important as underweight during childhood is associated with worse outcomes later in life. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Bellés‐Obrero & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín & Judit Vall‐Castello, 2016. "Bad Times, Slimmer Children?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 93-112, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:s2:p:93-112
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.3434
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.3434
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1002/hec.3434?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rajeev Dehejia & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2004. "Booms, Busts, and Babies' Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1091-1130.
    2. Cristina Belles-Obrero & Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Judit Vall-Castello, 2015. "The Unintended Effects of Increasing the Legal Working Age on Family Behaviour”," Working Papers 2015-09, FEDEA.
    3. Cristina Bellés‐Obrero & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín & Judit Vall‐Castello, 2016. "Bad Times, Slimmer Children?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 93-112, November.
    4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    5. Michèle V. K. Belot & Timothy J. Hatton, 2012. "Immigrant Selection in the OECD," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1105-1128, December.
    6. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906, August.
    7. repec:pri:cheawb:adriana_booms.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ainhoa Aparicio & Libertad González Luna, 2013. "Newborn health and the business cycle: Is it good to be born in bad times?," Economics Working Papers 1374, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Mar 2014.
    9. Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy Reichman, 2015. "Lifecycle Effects of a Recession on Health Behaviors: Boom, Bust, and Recovery in Iceland," NBER Working Papers 20950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Charles J. Courtemanche & Joshua C. Pinkston & Christopher J. Ruhm & George L. Wehby, 2016. "Can Changing Economic Factors Explain the Rise in Obesity?," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 82(4), pages 1266-1310, April.
    11. Carlos Bozzoli & Climent Quintana-Domeque, 2014. "The Weight of the Crisis: Evidence From Newborns in Argentina," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(3), pages 550-562, July.
    12. Aranzazu Crespo & Marcel Jansen, 2014. "The Role of Global Value Chains during the Crisis: Evidence from Spanish and European Firms," Working Papers 2014-09, FEDEA.
    13. Arkes, Jeremy, 2009. "How the economy affects teenage weight," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1943-1947, June.
    14. Mario Izquierdo & Juan F. Jimeno & Aitor Lacuesta, 2015. "Spain: From Immigration To Emigration?," Working Papers 1503, Banco de España.
    15. Modin, Bitte & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2013. "Economic Conditions at Birth, Birth Weight, Ability, and the Causal Path to Cardiovascular Mortality," CEPR Discussion Papers 9650, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Orrenius, Pia M. & Zavodny, Madeline, 2005. "Self-selection among undocumented immigrants from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 215-240, October.
    17. Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
    18. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
    19. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    20. Charles, Kerwin Kofi & DeCicca, Philip, 2008. "Local labor market fluctuations and health: Is there a connection and for whom?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1532-1550, December.
    21. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
    22. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Black, William E., 2002. "Does drinking really decrease in bad times?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 659-678, July.
    23. 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.
    24. Marianne Page & Jessamyn Schaller & David Simon, 2019. "The Effects of Aggregate and Gender-Specific Labor Demand Shocks on Child Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(1), pages 37-78.
    25. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 29-37.
    26. Ainhoa Aparicio, 2014. "Newborn Health and the Business Cycle," CINCH Working Paper Series 1402, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    27. Daniel Chiquiar & Gordon H. Hanson, 2005. "International Migration, Self-Selection, and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 239-281, April.
    28. Ezra Golberstein & Gilbert Gonzales & Ellen Meara, 2016. "Economic Conditions and Children's Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 22459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. repec:pri:cheawb:adriana_booms is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Svensson, Mikael, 2007. "Do not go breaking your heart: Do economic upturns really increase heart attack mortality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 833-841, August.
    31. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
    32. Kaestner, Robert & Grossman, Michael, 2009. "Effects of weight on children's educational achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 651-661, December.
    33. Fidel Gonzalez & Troy Quast, 2011. "Macroeconomic changes and mortality in Mexico," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 305-319, April.
    34. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & Judit Vall & Elena del Rey, 2015. "The effect of changes in the statutory minimum working age on educational, labor and health outcomes," Working Papers 2015-07, FEDEA.
    35. Shin-Jong Lin, 2009. "Economic fluctuations and health outcome: a panel analysis of Asia-Pacific countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 519-530.
    36. Costa-i-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of childhood obesity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49487, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    37. David McKenzie & Hillel Rapoport, 2010. "Self-Selection Patterns in Mexico-U.S. Migration: The Role of Migration Networks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 811-821, November.
    38. Tinna Laufey Asgeirsdottir & Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman, 2015. "Lifecycle Effects of a Recession on Health Behaviors: Boom, Bust, and Recovery in Iceland," Working Papers 150021, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    39. Barry R. Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected? An Economic Analysis," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 147, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
    40. Gruber, Jonathan & Frakes, Michael, 2006. "Does falling smoking lead to rising obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 183-197, March.
    41. Lídia Farré, 2016. "New evidence on the healthy immigrant effect," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(2), pages 365-394, April.
    42. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    43. Lindo, Jason M., 2015. "Aggregation and the estimated effects of economic conditions on health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 83-96.
    44. Barry Chiswick, 1999. "Are Immigrants Favorably Self-Selected?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 181-185, May.
    45. 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.
    46. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    47. Ehsan Latif, 2014. "The Impact Of Macroeconomic Conditions On Obesity In Canada," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 751-759, June.
    48. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2013. "Time Use during the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1664-1696, August.
    49. -, 2015. "迈向中拉 经济 合作 新时代," Libros y Documentos Institucionales, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 38202 edited by Eclac.
    50. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
    51. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bubonya, Melisa & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Christensen, Daniel & Johnson, Sarah E. & Zubrick, Stephen R., 2018. "The Great Recession and Children's Mental Health in Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 11891, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Martin, Molly A., 2021. "What is the causal effect of income gains on youth obesity? Leveraging the economic boom created by the Marcellus Shale development," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 272(C).
    3. Cristina Bellés‐Obrero & Sergi Jiménez‐Martín & Judit Vall‐Castello, 2016. "Bad Times, Slimmer Children?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 93-112, November.
    4. Cristina Borra & Jerònia Pons-Pons & Margarita Vilar-Rodríguez, 2020. "Austerity, healthcare provision, and health outcomes in Spain," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(3), pages 409-423, April.
    5. Bertoli, Paola & Grembi, Veronica & Vall Castellò, Judit, 2018. "Not all silver lining? The Great Recession and road traffic accidents," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 274-288.
    6. Briody, Jonathan, 2021. "Parental unemployment during the Great Recession and childhood adiposity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 6-24, November.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    3. Wang, Huixia & Wang, Chenggang & Halliday, Timothy J., 2018. "Health and health inequality during the great recession: Evidence from the PSID," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 17-30.
    4. Chenggang Wang & Huixia Wang & Timothy J. Halliday, 2017. "Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201703, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    5. Janke, Katharina & Lee, Kevin & Propper, Carol & Shields, Kalvinder K & Shields, Michael, 2020. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Health in Britain: Aggregation, Dynamics and Local Area Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 14507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Jofre-Bonet, Mireia & Serra-Sastre, Victoria & Vandoros, Sotiris, 2018. "The impact of the Great Recession on health-related risk factors, behaviour and outcomes in England," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 197(C), pages 213-225.
    7. Sun, Zhen & Cheng, Lei, 2021. "Air pollution and procyclical mortality: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    8. Colombo, Emilio & Rotondi, Valentina & Stanca, Luca, 2018. "Macroeconomic conditions and health: Inspecting the transmission mechanism," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 29-37.
    9. Max Brüning & Josselin Thuilliez, 2019. "Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions: What Can We Learn From France?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
    10. Avdic, Daniel & de New, Sonja C. & Kamhöfer, Daniel A., 2021. "Economic downturns and mental health in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    11. Hollingsworth, Alex & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Simon, Kosali, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 222-233.
    12. Giri, Jeeten Krishna & Kumaresan, Talitha, 2021. "The business cycle, health behavior, and chronic disease: A study over Three decades," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    13. Avdic, Daniel & de New, Sonja C. & Kamhöfer, Daniel A., 2020. "Economic downturns and mental wellbeing," DICE Discussion Papers 337, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    14. Chulhee Lee & Kyeongbae Kim, 2017. "Changing Relationship between Unemployment and Mortality in South Korea," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 1630-1636, December.
    15. José A. Tapia Granados & Edward L. Ionides, 2017. "Population health and the economy: Mortality and the Great Recession in Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 219-235, December.
    16. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2012. "Understanding the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Health," Chapters, in: Andrew M. Jones (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 667-706.
    19. Lizhong Peng & Jie Chen & Xiaohui Guo, 2022. "Macroeconomic conditions and health‐related outcomes in the United States: A metropolitan and micropolitan statistical area‐level analysis between 2004 and 2017," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 3-20, January.
    20. Kristín Helga Birgisdóttir & Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and population health in Iceland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(25), pages 769-852.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:25:y:2016:i:s2:p:93-112. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.