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Structural shift: the effect of a factor changes over time. Economy – h ealth Economy – thefts Economy - emigration. Are Recessions Good For Your Health?. Past times: No! Now: Yes? Economic indicators: - GDP/capita - Unemployment H ealth indicators: - Infant mortality

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structural shift the effect of a factor changes over time
Structural shift: the effect of a factor changes over time
  • Economy – health
  • Economy – thefts
  • Economy - emigration
are recessions good for your health
Are Recessions Good For Your Health?

Past times: No!

Now: Yes?

Economic indicators:

- GDP/capita

- Unemployment

Health indicators:

- Infant mortality

- Mortality 15-59 years

slide3
Past times (18th and 19th century): people lived close to subsistence level, small margins bad timesstarvation, malnutrition, increased mortality
  • Economic growth improved sanitary conditionsand nutrition reduced mortality
slide7
Time series analysis of differenced data  significant (p<0.05) effect of GDP: increased GDP  reduced infant (and total) mortality
slide8
But: analyses of Swedish data 1861-1913decreasing effect of the economy on mortality (Norström, Eur J Population 1988)
slide12
Received wisdom:

- Pritchett & L. Summers (1996) “Wealthier is Healthier” Journal of Human Resources

Doubts:

- Ruhm, C. (2000), “Are Recessions Good For Your Health?”, Quarterly Journal of Economics

No doubts:

- Ruhm, C. (2003), “Good Times Make You Sick”, Journal of Health Economics

- Tapia Granados, J.A. (2005) “Increasing Mortality during the Expansions of the US economy, 1900-1996.” International Journal of Epidemiology

slide13
.

Health of

unemployed

-

Population

health

Recessions

+

Health of

employed

+

how could r ecessions be good for your health
How could recessions be good for your health?
  • Less overtime and stress
  • Less smoking and alcohol
  • Less air pollutions
  • Less driving fewer accidents
slide16
More rigorious test of the link between unemployment and mortality: ARIMA-analyses of differenced data 1950-2000 for a larger numer of countries.

Outcome= male mortality 15-34 and 15-59

Explanatory variable: unemployment

slide18
Result: increase in unemployment by 1 percentage point  reduced male mortality by 1% (not significant for women)

Same as Tapia Granados found for the US

slide19

Mechanism via reduced alcohol consumption (Finland)

Unemployment

+1%-point

-0.3%

Mortality

-0.9%

-0.6%

Alcohol Consn

-0.2 liter

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Recessions  worse health among unemployed(?), but better health among the rest
  • Common design (micro data comparing health of unemployed with the rest) has an inbuilt bias that masks positive health effects among the rest
slide21

Recessions  worse health among unemployed?

.

Health of

unemployed

-?

Population

health

Recessions

+

Health of

employed

+

unemployment suicide
Unemploymentsuicide?
  • Micro data: Unemployed have an elevated suicide risk (RR=3). Selection effect?
  • Several TSA report significant relationships
  • Structural shift?
  • Focus 2 time periods with marked changes in unemployment in Sweden:
  • 1925-1938
  • 1980-2002
slide25

4 model estimations: % change in suicide of a 1-unit increase in the predictor. Differenced data*** p<0.001 ** p<0.01 * p<0.05 (*) p<0.10

structural shift
Structural shift

Exemple 2: Economy – thefts

2 hypotheses on the link economy thefts
2 hypotheses on the link economy - thefts
  • Improved economy reduced theft rate (poverty related crimes)
  • Improved economy increased theft rate (opportunity structure)
theft rate y axis and real wages x axis
Theft rate (Y-axis) and real wages (X-axis)

Negative relationship confirmed by ARIMA-analyses of differenced data

slide31

Indicators 1950-1985, cf Merton

Durable goods

Job vacancies

slide33

Observed

Vacanciesfixed

Durable goodsfixed

Noise

conclusion
Conclusion
  • Support for both hypotheses on the link between economy - thefts
slide36

Suicide rate per 100 000

25

Other causes

10

5

Cause: alcohol

1915

1955

1925

Cause: unemployment

What’s an important cause? May change

questions
Questions
  • Most important: pull- or push factors?
  • Wages or business climate?
determinants of emigration swedish and us economic indicators 1861 1913
Determinants of emigration: Swedish and US economic indicators1861-1913

Importance

Decreasing

Small

Increasing

Small

Increasing

slide40
TriangulationHas economic growth effect also after 1850? Test with multiple indicators on life chancesstronger evidence

TSA 1860-1914

Emigration

-

-

Economic

growth

Mortality

-

Thefts