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Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s

  • David M. Cutler
  • Felicia Knaul
  • Rafael Lozano
  • Oscar Mendez
  • Beatriz Zurita

We study the impact of economic crisis on health in Mexico. There have been four wide-scale economic crises in Mexico in the past two decades, the most recent in 1995-96. We find that mortality rates for the very young and the elderly increase or decline less rapidly in crisis years as compared with non-crisis years. In late 1995-96 crisis, mortality rates were about 5 to 7 percent higher in the crisis years compared to the years just prior to the crisis. This translates into a 0.4 percent increase in mortality for the elderly and a 0.06 percent increase in mortality for the very young. We find tentative evidence that economic crises affect mortality by reducing incomes and possibly by placing a greater burden on the medical sector, but not by forcing less healthy members of the population to work or by forcing primary caregivers to go to work.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7746.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7746.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Publication status: published as Cutler, David, Felicia Knaul, Rafael Lozano, Oscar Mendez and Beatriz Zurita. "Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes And Ageing: Mexico In The 1980s And 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, 2002, v84(2,May), 279-303.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7746
Note: HC
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  1. James Levinsohn & Steven Berry & Jed Friedman, 1999. "Impacts of the Indonesian Economic Crisis: Price Changes and the Poor," NBER Working Papers 7194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650, May.
  3. Theodore Joyce & Naci Mocan, 1993. "Unemployment and Infant Health: Time-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 185-203.
  4. Murray, Christopher J. L. & Chen, Lincoln C., 1993. "In search of a contemporary theory for understanding mortality change," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 143-155, January.
  5. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti & Nouriel Roubini, 1998. "What Caused the Asian Currency and Financial Crisis? Part II: The Policy Debate," NBER Working Papers 6834, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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