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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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    Cited by:

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    2. Daniel Avdic & Sonja C. de New & Daniel A. Kamhöfer, 2020. "Economic Downturns and Mental Wellbeing," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1081, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Maddalena Cavicchioli & Barbara Pistoresi, 2020. "Unfolding the relationship between mortality, economic fluctuations, and health in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(3), pages 351-362, April.
    4. Wang, Huixia & Wang, Chenggang & Halliday, Timothy J., 2018. "Health and health inequality during the great recession: Evidence from the PSID," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 17-30.
    5. Kristín Helga Birgisdóttir & Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and population health in Iceland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(25), pages 769-852.
    6. Birgisdóttir, Kristín Helga & Hauksdóttir, Arna & Ruhm, Christopher & Valdimarsdóttir, Unnur Anna & Ásgeirsdóttir, Tinna Laufey, 2020. "The effect of the economic collapse in Iceland on the probability of cardiovascular events," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    7. Max Brüning & Josselin Thuilliez, 2019. "Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions: What Can We Learn From France?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(5), pages 1747-1764, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Hollingsworth, Alex & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Simon, Kosali, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 222-233.
    10. Nguyen,Ha Minh & Nguyen,Huong, 2016. "Unemployment and mortality : evidence from the great recession," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7603, The World Bank.
    11. Sameem, Sediq & Sylwester, Kevin, 2017. "The business cycle and mortality: Urban versus rural counties," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 28-35.
    12. Orsini, Chiara & Avendano, Mauricio, 2015. "Macro-economic conditions and infanthealth: a changing relationship for blackand white infants in the United States," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62307, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 6-24, November.
    14. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    15. Sameem, Sediq, 2020. "Are U.S. lung cancer mortality rates converging?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 190-197.
    16. Strumpf, Erin C. & Charters, Thomas J. & Harper, Sam & Nandi, Arijit, 2017. "Did the Great Recession affect mortality rates in the metropolitan United States? Effects on mortality by age, gender and cause of death," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 11-16.
    17. 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.
    18. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Heckley, Gawain & Lissdaniels, Johannes, 2020. "Estimating the Causal Impact of Macroeconomic Conditions on Income-Related Mortality," Working Papers 2020:22, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    19. Clifford Afoakwah & Son Nghiem & Paul Scuffham & Quan Huynh & Tom Marwick & Joshua Byrnes, 2020. "Impacts of air pollution on health: evidence from longitudinal cohort data of patients with cardiovascular diseases," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 21(7), pages 1025-1038, September.
    20. Clifford Afoakwah & Son Nghiem & Paul Scuffham & Quan Huynh & Tom Marwick & Joshua Byrnes, 0. "Impacts of air pollution on health: evidence from longitudinal cohort data of patients with cardiovascular diseases," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 0, pages 1-14.
    21. Sif Jónsdóttir & Tinna Ásgeirsdóttir, 2014. "The effect of job loss on body weight during an economic collapse," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(6), pages 567-576, July.
    22. 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.

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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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