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Pro-cyclical mortality. Evidence from Norway

Using variation across geographical regions, a number of studies from the U.S. and other developed countries have found more deaths in economic upturns and less deaths in economic downturns. We use data from regions in Norway for 1977-2008 and find the same procyclical patterns. Using individual-level register data for the same population, we then look at differences in pro-cyclicality across subsamples that are expected to be affected differently by the business cycle. Mortality is most pro-cyclical for young men (18-24), but there are also some indications of more pro-cyclical mortality for subgroups, such as the disabled, who are already dependent on the health-care system. Furthermore, the data allow us to look at pro-cyclicality in measures of morbidity, and we find procyclicality in disability, obesity and traffic accidents in densely populated areas. Finally, we investigate pro-cyclical mortality across socioeconomic groups and find that mortality is more procyclical for the well educated than the less educated, but it is less pro-cyclical for those with high earnings and more wealth than those with low earnings and less wealth. Overall, the observed associations between mortality and macroeconomic conditions seem to stem from a myriad of diverging mechanisms.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 766.

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Date of creation: Nov 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:766
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  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "A Healthy Economy Can Break Your Heart," NBER Working Papers 12102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2002. "Deaths Rise in Good Economic Times: Evidence From the OECD," IZA Discussion Papers 654, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Heutel, Garth & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2013. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Working Papers 13-7, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  15. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Money for nothing? Universal child care and maternal employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1455-1465.
  16. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2009. "Does Job Loss Shorten Life?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(2).
  17. Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2011. "Parental Job Loss and Children's School Performance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1462-1489.
  18. 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.
  19. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
  20. H. Naci Mocan & Turan G. Bali, 2005. "Asymmetric Crime Cycles," NBER Working Papers 11210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
  23. Freeman, Donald G., 1999. "A note on 'Economic conditions and alcohol problems'," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-668, October.
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