Macroeconomic Changes and Mortality in Mexico
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.
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