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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
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    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: The Elgar Companion to Health Economics, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:138-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Xu, Xin, 2013. "The business cycle and health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 126-136.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    overweight; business cycles; health;

    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

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