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Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes, and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s

  • Mendez, Oscar
  • Cutler, David
  • Knaul, Felicia
  • Lozano, Rafael
  • Zurita, Beatriz
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    We study the impact of economic crisis on health in Mexico. There have been four wide-scale economic crises in Mexico in the past two decades, the most recent in 1995–96. We find that mortality rates for the very young and the elderly increase or decline less rapidly in crisis years as compared with non-crisis years. In the 1995–96 crisis, mortality rates were about 5 to 7 percent higher in the crisis years compared to the years just prior to the crisis. This translates into a 0.4 percent increase in mortality for the elderly and a 0.06 percent increase in mortality for the very young. We find tentative evidence that economic crises affect mortality by reducing incomes and possibly by placing a greater burden on the medical sector, but not by forcing less healthy members of the population to work or by forcing primary caregivers to go to work.

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    File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/2707939/cutler_financialcrisis.pdf
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    Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 2707939.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economics
    Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2707939
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    Web page: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/

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    1. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Jed Friedman, 1999. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis: Price Changes and the Poor," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 249, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
    3. Theodore Joyce & Naci Mocan, 1993. "Unemployment and Infant Health: Time-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 185-203.
    4. Suzanne Duryea, 1998. "Children's Advancement Through School in Brazil: The Role of Transitory Shocks to Household Income," Research Department Publications 4124, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Sebastian Edwards, 1998. "The Mexican Peso Crisis: How Much Did We Know? When Did We Know It?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 1-30, 01.
    6. Murray, Christopher J. L. & Chen, Lincoln C., 1993. "In search of a contemporary theory for understanding mortality change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 143-155, January.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
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