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Unemployment and Mortality: Evidence from the PSID

Listed author(s):
  • Halliday, Timothy J.

    ()

    (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

In this paper, we use the death file from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to investigate the relationship between county-level unemployment rates and mortality risk. After partialling out important confounding factors including baseline health status as well as state and industry fixed effects, we show that poor local labor market conditions are associated with higher mortality risk for working-aged men. In particular, we show that a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate increases their mortality hazard by 6%. There is little to no such relationship for people with weaker labor force attachments such as women or the elderly. Our results contribute to a growing body of work that suggests that poor economic conditions pose health risks and illustrate an important contrast with studies based on aggregate data.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7157.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7157.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Publication status: published in: Social Science and Medicine, 2014, 113, 15-22
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7157
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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Recessions, Healthy No More?," NBER Working Papers 19287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens & Mateusz Filipski, 2009. "Why Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 122-127, May.
  3. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  4. 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.
  5. Meghir, Costas & Pistaferri, Luigi, 2002. "Income Variance Dynamics and Heterogeneity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Halliday, Timothy J., 2007. "Business cycles, migration and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 1420-1424, April.
  7. Kate Strully, 2009. "Job loss and health in the U.S. labor market," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(2), pages 221-246, May.
  8. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  9. N/A, 2009. "On the Recession," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 24(3), pages 253-253, May.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Daniel Sullivan & Till von Wachter, 2009. "Job Displacement and Mortality: An Analysis Using Administrative Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1265-1306.
  13. María E. Dávalos & Hai Fang & Michael T. French, 2012. "Easing The Pain Of An Economic Downturn: Macroeconomic Conditions And Excessive Alcohol Consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(11), pages 1318-1335, November.
  14. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Alcohol abuse and economic conditions: Evidence from repeated cross-sections of individual-level data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(3), pages 257-270.
  15. Jerome Adda & James Banks & Hans-Martin von Gaudecker, 2007. "The impact of income shocks on health: evidence from cohort data," IFS Working Papers W07/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. 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.
  17. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
  18. Timothy Halliday, 2011. "Earnings Growth and Movements in Self-Reported Health," Working Papers 201117, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  19. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 2005. "Business cycles and mortality: results from Swedish microdata," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 205-218, January.
  20. Ann Huff Stevens & Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Mateusz Filipski, 2011. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Understanding Pro-cyclical Mortality," NBER Working Papers 17657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Christopher Ruhm, 2007. "A healthy economy can break your heart," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 829-848, November.
  22. Martin Browning & Anne Moller Dano & Eskil Heinesen, 2006. "Job displacement and stress-related health outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(10), pages 1061-1075.
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