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The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors

  • Xin Xu
  • Robert Kaestner

In this paper, we take a structural approach to investigate the effects of wages and working hours on health behaviors of low-educated persons using variation in wages and hours caused by changes in economic activity. We find that increases in hours are associated with an increase in cigarette smoking, a reduction in physical activity, and fewer visits to physicians. More importantly, we find that most of the effects associated with changes in hours can be attributed to the changes in the extensive margin of employment. Increases in wages are associated with greater consumption of cigarettes.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15737.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Publication status: published as Xin Xu, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, vol 77, pages 126-136.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15737
Note: HC HE
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