Are Recessions Good For Your Health?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher J Ruhm, Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between economic conditions and health. Total mortality and eight of the ten sources of fatalities examined are shown to exhibit a procyclical fluctuation, with suicides representing an important exception. The variations are largest for those causes and age groups where behavioral responses are most plausible, and there is some evidence that the unfavorable health effects of temporary upturns are partially or fully offset if the economic growth is long-lasting. An accompanying analysis of microdata indicates that smoking and obesity increase when the economy strengthens, whereas physical activity is reduced and diet becomes less healthy.

Additional Information

Publication
Quarterly Journal of Economics 115(2): 617-650
Language: English
Date: 2000
Keywords
Economic conditions, Health,