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The Effect of the Great Recession on Health: A longitudinal study of Irish Mothers 2001-2011

Author

Listed:
  • Jonathan Briody

    (School Of Economics, Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)

  • Orla Doyle

    (School Of Economics, Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)

  • Cecily Kelleher

    (School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, University College Dublin)

Abstract

The relationship between recessions and health is mixed, with some evidence from the most recent financial crisis finding a positive effect on heath behaviours. This study uses longitudinal data spanning the periods before, during and after the Irish crisis of 2008, to test the impact of economic expansion and contraction on mothers physical and mental health and health behaviours. Three waves of data from the Irish Lifeways Cohort Study for the period 2001-2011, and local area employment rates from the Irish Census, are used to capture the impact of the recession on health, independent of individual employment status. The results from fixed effect linear probability models demonstrate that increases in the local unemployment rate are associated with significant increases in the probability of mothers reporting poor self-rated health and poor mental well-being. Yet the association between local area unemployment and health behaviours is mostly positive, with higher unemployment reducing the probability of being obese and tobacco consumption. The relationship with physical activity is more ambiguous. These results are largely consistent with the US literature, which is predominantly based on working men, thus demonstrating the universal impact of recessions on health.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Briody & Orla Doyle & Cecily Kelleher, 2019. "The Effect of the Great Recession on Health: A longitudinal study of Irish Mothers 2001-2011," Working Papers 201912, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201912
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Athina Economou & Agelike Nikolaou & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2008. "Are recessions harmful to health after all?: Evidence from the European Union," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 368-384, September.
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    12. repec:bla:econom:v:68:y:2001:i:270:p:157-186 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lifestyles; Health; Macroeconomic conditions; Panel data; Unemployment; The Great Recession;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General

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