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Are Recessions Really Good for Your Health? Evidence from Canada

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  • Ariizumi, Hideki
  • Schirle, Tammy

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between business cycle fluctuations and health in the Canadian context, given that a procyclical relationship between mortality rates and unemployment rates has already been well established in the U.S. literature. Using a fixed effects model and provincial data over the period 1977--†2009, we estimate the effect of unemployment rates on Canadian age and gender specific mortality rates. Consistent with U.S. results, there is some evidence of a strong procyclical pattern in the mortality rates of middle--†aged Canadians. We find that a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate lowers the predicted mortality rate of individuals in their 30s by nearly 2 percent. In contrast to the U.S. data, we do not find a significant cyclical pattern in the mortality rates of infants and seniors.

Suggested Citation

  • Ariizumi, Hideki & Schirle, Tammy, 2011. "Are Recessions Really Good for Your Health? Evidence from Canada," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-4, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Feb 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:clssrn:clsrn_admin-2011-4
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    File URL: http://www.clsrn.econ.ubc.ca/workingpapers/CLSRN%20Working%20Paper%20no.%2073-%20Ariizumi%20and%20Schirle.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unemployment; Business Cycles; Health; Mortality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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