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Macroeconomic Changes and Mortality in Mexico


  • Fidel Gonzalez

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)

  • Troy Quast

    () (Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University)


While previous studies examine how the business cycle affects mortality in developed countries, less is known about this relationship in developing countries. In this paper, we investigate whether the procyclical nature of mortality in developed countries found by Ruhm (2000) and others is also present in Mexico. We assemble a unique panel data set that contains state-level data on mortality rates by age and cause of death, GDP per capita, and socioeconomic status. We find that for Mexico total mortality rates are procyclical, with the largest impact on those aged 20 to 49. While these findings are similar to those in Ruhm (2000), the effects of business cycles on mortality rates differ for several specific causes of death. These results suggest that whereas total mortality may be procyclical in some developed and developing countries, significant differences may exist for some causes of death.

Suggested Citation

  • Fidel Gonzalez & Troy Quast, 2009. "Macroeconomic Changes and Mortality in Mexico," Working Papers 0807, Sam Houston State University, Department of Economics and International Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:shs:wpaper:0807

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nora Lustig, 2001. "Life Is Not Easy: Mexico's Quest for Stability and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 85-106, Winter.
    2. 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.
    3. Tapinos, G. & Mason, A. & Bravo, J. (ed.), 1997. "Demographic Responses to Economic Adjustment in Latin America," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292104.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    5. Javier Sánchez-Reaza, 2002. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Regional Disparities in Mexico," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 72-90.
    6. Mendez, Oscar & Cutler, David & Knaul, Felicia & Lozano, Rafael & Zurita, Beatriz, 2002. "Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes, and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s," Scholarly Articles 2707939, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huixia Wang & Chenggang Wang & Timothy J. Halliday, 2016. "Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 2016-14, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    2. Laliotis, Ioannis & Stavropoulou, Charitini, 2017. "Crises and mortality: Does the level of unemployment matter?," MPRA Paper 77873, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25, pages 6-24, November.
    4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    5. Josselin Thuilliez, 2016. "‘Recessions, healthy no more?’: A note on Recessions, Gender and Mortality in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01278019, HAL.
    6. Alex Hollingsworth & Christopher J. Ruhm & Kosali Simon, 2017. "Macroeconomic Conditions and Opioid Abuse," NBER Working Papers 23192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chenggang Wang & Huixia Wang & Timothy J. Halliday, 2017. "Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201703, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department 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. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Diaz-Cayeros, Alberto & Miller, Grant & Miranda, Alfonso & Venkataramani, Atheendar, 2017. "Urban Water Disinfection and Mortality Decline in Developing Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 10618, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Wen-Yi Chen, 2016. "Health progress and economic growth in the USA: the continuous wavelet analysis," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 831-855, May.
    11. Makhlouf, Yousef & Kellard, Neil M. & Vinogradov, Dmitri, 2017. "Child mortality, commodity price volatility and the resource curse," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 144-156.
    12. Ferdi Botha, 2012. "The Economics Of Suicide In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 80(4), pages 526-552, December.
    13. Quast, Troy & Gonzalez, Fidel, 2014. "Economic cycles and heart disease in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 19-25.
    14. Nguyen,Ha Minh & Nguyen,Huong, 2016. "Unemployment and mortality : evidence from the great recession," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7603, The World Bank.
    15. Huixia Wang & Chenggang Wang & Timothy Halliday, 2016. "Money and Credit: Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201615, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    16. Tapia Granados, José A., 2012. "Economic growth and health progress in England and Wales: 160 years of a changing relation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 688-695.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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