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Crises and mortality: Does the level of unemployment matter?

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  • Laliotis, Ioannis
  • Stavropoulou, Charitini

Abstract

We study whether mortality responds non-linearly and asymmetrically to unemployment in the context of national economic crises. Although both the assumption of linearity and symmetry have been challenged in other domains, this has been hitherto neglected in the mortality-unemployment literature. Greece offers an ideal setting to our study as unemployment had been moderately falling for about a decade till mid-2008 when it sharply and suddenly increased as a result of a severe economic crisis. Contrary to previous literature, our results from regional panel data estimates (1999q1-2013q4) indicate a countercyclical behaviour of total mortality and a further deteriorating crisis effect. We provide robust evidence that mortality is both non-linear and asymmetric, which suggests that the effect on the number of deaths changes for very high values of unemployment and depends on its direction. Both non-linearity and asymmetry are driven by those above 65 years old. Our findings have important methodological implications and suggest that empirical investigations on fluctuations, recessions and mortality should consider possible non-linear and asymmetric behaviours.

Suggested Citation

  • Laliotis, Ioannis & Stavropoulou, Charitini, 2017. "Crises and mortality: Does the level of unemployment matter?," MPRA Paper 77873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:77873
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laliotis, Ioannis & Stavropoulou, Charitini, 2018. "Crises and mortality: Does the level of unemployment matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 214(C), pages 99-109.
    2. Laliotis, I. & Moscelli, G. & Monastiriotis, V., 2019. "Summertime and the drivin’ is easy? Daylight Saving Time and Vehicle Accidents," Working Papers 19/14, Department of Economics, City University London.
    3. Sameem, Sediq & Sylwester, Kevin, 2018. "Asymmetries and a reconsideration of unemployment’s impact upon mortality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 114-117.
    4. Laliotis, Ioannis & Shaikh, Mujaheed & Stavropoulou, Charitini & Kourouklis, Dimitrios, 2019. "Retirement and household expenditure in turbulent times," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102646, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Ioannis Laliotis & Mujaheed Shaikh & Charitini Stavropoulou & Dimitrios Kourouklis, 2019. "Retirement and Household Expenditure in Turbulent Times," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 137, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mortality; Unemployment; Crisis; Non-linearity; Asymmetry; Greece;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General

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