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Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession

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Listed:
  • Tekin, Erdal

    () (American University)

  • McClellan, Chandler

    () (National Bureau of Economic Research)

  • Minyard, Karen Jean

    () (Georgia State University)

Abstract

While previous studies have shown that recessions are associated with better health outcomes and behaviors, the focus of these studies has been on the relatively milder recessions of the late 20th century. In this paper, we examine if the previously established counter-cyclical pattern in health and heath behaviors is held during the Great Recession. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) between 2005 and 2011 and focusing on a wide range of outcomes capturing health and health behaviors, we show that the association between economic deterioration and these outcomes has weakened considerably during the recent recession. In fact, majority of our estimates indicate that the relationship has practically become zero, though subtle differences exist among various sub-populations. Our results are consistent with the evidence emerging from several recent studies that suggests that the relationship between economic activity and health and health behaviors has become less noticeable in the recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Tekin, Erdal & McClellan, Chandler & Minyard, Karen Jean, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 7538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Layte & Anne Nolan, 2016. "Socio-economic Differentials in Male Mortality in Ireland 1984-2008," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 47(3), pages 361-390.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:29-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2015. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," NBER Working Papers 21604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    6. Sung, Jaesang, 2017. "The Impact of Housing Prices on Health in U.S. Before, During and After the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 78831, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:eee:socmed:v:182:y:2017:i:c:p:30-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. David Hummels & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2016. "No Pain, No Gain: The Effects of Exports on Effort, Injury, and Illness," NBER Working Papers 22365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. A. Barrett & V. O'Sullivan, 2014. "The wealth, health and well-being of Ireland's older people before and during the economic crisis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(10), pages 675-678, July.
    11. Todd, Jessica, E., 2014. "Changes in Eating Patterns and Diet Quality Among Working-Age Adults, 2005-2010," Economic Research Report 262214, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    12. Barbaresco, Silvia & Courtemanche, Charles J. & Qi, Yanling, 2015. "Impacts of the Affordable Care Act dependent coverage provision on health-related outcomes of young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 54-68.
    13. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:28:y:2018:i:c:p:173-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. David Madden, 2015. "Health and Wealth on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland, 2003–2011," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 387-412, April.
    15. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:138-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Bonamore, Giorgio & Carmignani, Fabrizio & Colombo, Emilio, 2015. "Addressing the unemployment–mortality conundrum: Non-linearity is the answer," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 67-72.
    17. Carpenter, Christopher S. & McClellan, Chandler B. & Rees, Daniel I., 2017. "Economic conditions, illicit drug use, and substance use disorders in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-73.
    18. Charters, Thomas J. & Harper, Sam & Strumpf, Erin C. & Subramanian, S.V. & Arcaya, Mariana & Nandi, Arijit, 2016. "The effect of metropolitan-area mortgage delinquency on health behaviors, access to health services, and self-rated health in the United States, 2003–2010," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 74-82.
    19. Martin Bassols, Nicolau & Vall Castelló, Judit, 2016. "Effects of the great recession on drugs consumption in Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 103-116.
    20. repec:eee:socmed:v:189:y:2017:i:c:p:11-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Kaiser, Micha & Reutter, Mirjam & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Strohmaier, Kristina, 2017. "Smoking and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 10953, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    22. Vincenzo Atella & Federico Belotti & Joanna Kopinska & Alessandro Palma & Andrea Piano Mortari, 2018. "Economic Crisis, Mortality and Health Status. A New Perspective," CEIS Research Paper 425, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 20 Feb 2018.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    health; recession; business cycle; health behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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