Good Times Make You Sick

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher J Ruhm, Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study uses microdata from the 1972–1981 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) to ex-amine how health status and medical care utilization fluctuate with state macroeconomic conditions. Personal characteristics, location fixed-effects, general time effects and (usually) state-specific time trends are controlled for. The major finding is that there is a counter-cyclical variation in physical health that is especially pronounced for individuals of prime-working age, employed persons, and males. The negative health effects of economic expansions persist or accumulate over time, are larger for acute than chronic ailments, and occur despite a protective effect of income and a possible increase in the use of medical care. Finally, there is some suggestion that mental health may be procyclical, in sharp contrast to physical well-being.

Additional Information

Journal of Health Economics, Vol. 22, No. 4, July 2003, 637-658
Language: English
Date: 2003
Health status, Morbidity, Macroeconomic conditions

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