IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwpla/0505011.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does a Slump Really Make You Thinner? Finnish Micro-level Evidence 1978-2002

Author

Listed:
  • Petri Böckerman

    (Labour Institute for Economic Research)

  • Edvard Johansson

    (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy)

  • Satu Helakorpi

    (National Public Health Institute)

  • Ritva Prättälä

    (National Public Health Institute)

  • Erkki Vartiainen Antti Uutela

    (National Public Health Institute)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between obesity and economic conditions in Finland, using individual microdata from 1978 to 2002. The results reveal that an improvement in regional economic conditions measured by the employment-to-population ratio produces a decrease in obesity over the period of investigation, other things being equal. This effect arises from the decline in the height-adjusted weight of people who are deeply overweight, (BMI>35). In addition, the effect is strongest for the people in later middle age (aged 45-65). The incidence of obesity is unrelated to the regional growth rate. All in all, the Finnish evidence presented does not support the conclusions reported for the USA, according to which temporary economic slowdowns are good for health. In contrast, at least overweight increases during slumps.

Suggested Citation

  • Petri Böckerman & Edvard Johansson & Satu Helakorpi & Ritva Prättälä & Erkki Vartiainen Antti Uutela, 2005. "Does a Slump Really Make You Thinner? Finnish Micro-level Evidence 1978-2002," Labor and Demography 0505011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0505011
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 25
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/lab/papers/0505/0505011.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Theodore Joyce & Naci Mocan, 1993. "Unemployment and Infant Health: Time-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 185-203.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    3. Forbes, John F. & McGregor, Alan, 1984. "Unemployment and mortality in post-war Scotland," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 239-257, December.
    4. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
    6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    7. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
    8. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Black, William E., 2002. "Does drinking really decrease in bad times?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 659-678, July.
    9. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," Chapters, in: Andrew M. Jones (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
    11. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    12. Brenner, M.H., 1975. "Trends in alcohol consumption and associated illnesses. Some effects of economic changes," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 65(12), pages 1279-1292.
    13. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Dynamics of Youth Unemployment," NBER Chapters, in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 199-234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Freeman, Donald G., 1999. "A note on 'Economic conditions and alcohol problems'," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 659-668, October.
    15. Neumayer, Eric, 2004. "Recessions lower (some) mortality rates:: evidence from Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1037-1047, March.
    16. Wagstaff, Adam, 1985. "Time series analysis of the relationship between unemployment and mortality: A survey of econometric critiques and replications of Brenner's studies," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 985-996, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
    2. Colman, Gregory & Dave, Dhaval, 2013. "Exercise, physical activity, and exertion over the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 11-20.
    3. McInerney, Melissa & Mellor, Jennifer M., 2012. "Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: Analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-751.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," Chapters, in: Andrew M. Jones (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Kaiser, Micha & Reutter, Mirjam & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Strohmaier, Kristina, 2018. "Smoking and local unemployment: Evidence from Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 138-147.
    6. 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.
    7. Vandoros, Sotiris & Avendano, Mauricio & Kawachi, Ichiro, 2019. "The association between economic uncertainty and suicide in the short-run," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 220(C), pages 403-410.
    8. Xin Xu & Robert Kaestner, 2010. "The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 15737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
    10. Angelini, Viola & Mierau, Jochen O., 2014. "Born at the right time? Childhood health and the business cycle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 35-43.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2006. "Deaths rise in good economic times: Evidence from the OECD," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 298-316, December.
    2. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    3. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Prättälä, Ritva & Uutela, Antti, 2005. "Alcohol Mortality, Drinking Behavior, and Business Cycles: Are Slumps Really Dry Seasons?," Discussion Papers 986, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    4. Svensson, Mikael, 2007. "Do not go breaking your heart: Do economic upturns really increase heart attack mortality?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 833-841, August.
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Good times make you sick," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 637-658, July.
    6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2006. "Macroeconomic Conditions, Health and Mortality," Chapters, in: Andrew M. Jones (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 1, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 6-24, November.
    8. Christopher Ruhm, 2007. "A healthy economy can break your heart," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 829-848, November.
    9. Venke Furre Haaland & Kjetil Telle, 2013. "Pro-cyclical mortality. Evidence from Norway," Discussion Papers 766, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    10. María E. Dávalos & Hai Fang & Michael T. French, 2012. "Easing The Pain Of An Economic Downturn: Macroeconomic Conditions And Excessive Alcohol Consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(11), pages 1318-1335, November.
    11. Martin Bassols, Nicolau & Vall Castelló, Judit, 2016. "Effects of the great recession on drugs consumption in Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 103-116.
    12. 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.
    13. Johansson, Edvard, 2003. "A Note on Impact of Hours Worked in Mortality in the OECD," Discussion Papers 878, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    14. Xin Xu & Robert Kaestner, 2010. "The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 15737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
    16. Timothy Halliday, 2006. "Income Risk and Health," Working Papers 200612, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    17. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Timothy Halliday, 2006. "The Impact of Aggregate and Idiosyncratic Income Shocks on Health Outcomes: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 200606, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    19. Tapia Granados, José A., 2012. "Economic growth and health progress in England and Wales: 160 years of a changing relation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(5), pages 688-695.
    20. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    overweight; business cycles; health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0505011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: EconWPA (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.