Are Pink Slips Better Than Flu Shots? The Effects of Employment on Influenza Rates
The seasonal influenza virus afflicts between five and twenty percent of the U.S. population each year, imposing significant costs on those who fall ill, their families, employers, and the health care system. The flu is transmitted via droplet spread or close contact, and certain environments, such as schools or offices, promote transmission. In this paper, we examine whether increases in labor market activities are associated with an increased incidence of the flu. Flu data come from the Centers for Disease Control. We check the robustness of our results using unique data from Google Flu Trends. Using a first-difference two stage least squares estimation approach, we find that a one percentage point increase in the employment rate increases the number of influenza related doctor visits by about 8.1 additional flu-related doctor visits per 1000 doctor visits for all causes. To put this in perspective, on average, 33 additional people out of every 100,000 new employees will have a flu-related doctor visit. The results are robust across several specifications.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005.
"Healthy living in hard times,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," NBER Working Papers 9468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Christopher Ruhm, 2007. "A healthy economy can break your heart," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 829-848, November.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "A Healthy Economy Can Break Your Heart," NBER Working Papers 12102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Christopher J. Ruhm & William E. Black, 2001. "Does Drinking Really Decrease in Bad Times?," NBER Working Papers 8511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," IZA Discussion Papers 654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," NBER Working Papers 9357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
- Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
- Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Johannesson, Magnus, 1999. "New estimates of the demand for health: results based on a categorical health measure and Swedish micro data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(10), pages 1325-1332, November.
- Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "New Estimates of the Demand for Health: Results Based on a Categorical Health Measure and Swedish Micro Data," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 205, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Beggs, John J. & Nerlove, Marc, 1988. "Biases in dynamic models with fixed effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 29-31. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15796. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.