IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Recessions, Healthy No More?

  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Using data from multiple sources, over the 1976-2009 period, I show that total mortality has shifted over time from strongly procyclical to being essentially unrelated to macroeconomic conditions. The relationship also shows some instability over time and is likely to be poorly measured when using short (less than 15 or 20 year) analysis periods. The secular change in the association between macroeconomic conditions and overall mortality primarily reflects trends in effects for specific causes of death, rather than changes in the composition of total mortality across causes. Deaths due to cardiovascular disease and transport accidents continue to be procyclical (although possibly less so than in the past), whereas strong countercyclical patterns of cancer fatalities and some external sources of death (particularly those due to accidental poisoning) have emerged over time. The changing effect of macroeconomic conditions on cancer deaths may partially reflect the increasing protective influence of financial resources, perhaps because these can be used to obtain sophisticated (and expensive) treatments that have become available in recent years. That observed for accidental poisoning probably has occurred because declines in mental health during economic downturns are increasingly associated with the use of prescribed or illicitly obtained medications that carry risks of fatal overdoses.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19287.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19287.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19287
Note: EFG HC HE PE
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  2. Gruber, Jonathan & Frakes, Michael, 2006. "Does falling smoking lead to rising obesity?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 183-197, March.
  3. Ariizumi, Hideki & Schirle, Tammy, 2011. "Are Recessions Really Good for Your Health? Evidence from Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Feb 2011.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
  5. Jordi Galí & Thijs van Rens, 2010. "The Vanishing Procyclicality of Labor Productivity," Kiel Working Papers 1641, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Fidel Gonzalez & Troy Quast, 2009. "Macroeconomic Changes and Mortality in Mexico," Working Papers 0807, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  7. John Gathergood & Eleonora Fichera, . "House Prices, Home Equity and Health," Discussion Papers 12/07, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
  8. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2012. "Understanding the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Health," Chapters, in: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  10. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 667 - 706.
  11. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2011. "Internal Migration in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 173-96, Summer.
  12. Cotti Chad & Tefft Nathan, 2011. "Decomposing the Relationship between Macroeconomic Conditions and Fatal Car Crashes during the Great Recession: Alcohol- and Non-Alcohol-Related Accidents," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-24, August.
  13. Gary Yeung & Gerard Berg & Maarten Lindeboom & France Portrait, 2014. "The impact of early-life economic conditionson cause-specific mortality during adulthood," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 895-919, July.
  14. Gregory J. Colman & Dhaval M. Dave, 2011. "Exercise, Physical Activity, and Exertion over the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 17406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
  16. 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.
  17. Ann H. Stevens & Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Mateusz Filipski, 2015. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Understanding Pro-cyclical Mortality," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 279-311, November.
  18. Janet Currie & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "Is there a Link Between Foreclosure and Health?," NBER Working Papers 17310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7024 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Gary Solon & Steven J. Haider & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2013. "What Are We Weighting For?," NBER Working Papers 18859, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Athina Economou & Agelike Nikolaou & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2008. "Are recessions harmful to health after all?: Evidence from the European Union," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 368-384, October.
  22. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
  24. Jeremy Arkes, 2007. "Does the economy affect teenage substance use?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 19-36.
  25. Timothy J Halliday, 2005. "Business Cycles, Migration and Health," Working Papers 200504, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  26. 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.
  27. repec:bfi:wpaper:2013-001 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Butler, J. S., 2000. "Efficiency results of MLE and GMM estimation with sampling weights," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 25-37, May.
  29. Arkes, Jeremy, 2009. "How the economy affects teenage weight," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1943-1947, June.
  30. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  31. 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.
  32. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
  33. Price V. Fishback & Michael R. Haines & Shawn Kantor, 2007. "Births, Deaths, and New Deal Relief during the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-14, February.
  34. 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 122-27, May.
  35. N/A, 2009. "On the Recession," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 24(3), pages 253-253, May.
  36. Charles, Kerwin Kofi & DeCicca, Philip, 2008. "Local labor market fluctuations and health: Is there a connection and for whom?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1532-1550, December.
  37. W. David Bradford & William D. Lastrapes, 2014. "A Prescription For Unemployment? Recessions And The Demand For Mental Health Drugs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(11), pages 1301-1325, November.
  38. David M. Cutler, 2008. "Are We Finally Winning the War on Cancer?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  39. Christopher J. Ruhm & William E. Black, 2001. "Does Drinking Really Decrease in Bad Times?," NBER Working Papers 8511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Recessions, Healthy No More?," NBER Working Papers 19287, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Andrew M. Jones (ed.), 2012. "The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, Second Edition," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14021.
  42. 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.
  43. Tom Buchmueller & Michel Grignon & Florence Jusot, 2007. "Unemployment and Mortality in France, 1982-2002," Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis Working Paper Series 2007-04, Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis (CHEPA), McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
  44. Shin-Jong Lin, 2009. "Economic fluctuations and health outcome: a panel analysis of Asia-Pacific countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(4), pages 519-530.
  45. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  46. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
  47. Freeman, Donald G., 1999. "A note on 'Economic conditions and alcohol problems'," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-668, October.
  48. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
  50. William N. Evans & Timothy J. Moore, 2012. "Liquidity, Economic Activity, and Mortality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 400-418, May.
  51. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19287. 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 you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.