Are Recessions Good for Your Health?

  title={Are Recessions Good for Your Health?},
  author={Christopher J Ruhm},
  journal={Health Economics eJournal},
  • C. Ruhm
  • Published 1 May 1996
  • Medicine
  • Health Economics eJournal
This study examines the relationship between economic conditions and health. Fixed-effect models are estimated using state level data for the 1972-1991 time period. Health is proxied by total and age- specific mortality rates, as well as by 10 particular causes of death. Total mortality and nine of the ten sources of fatalities exhibit a procyclical variation, with suicides representing the important exception. The fluctuations in mortality are larger for 20-44 year olds than for older… 
Good times make you sick.
  • C. Ruhm
  • Medicine
    Journal of health economics
  • 2003
Are Recessions Really Good for your Health? Understanding Procyclical Mortality *
A growing literature has established a link between mortality and the business cycle and documented robust countercyclical movements in health in the United States and elsewhere. We examine these
Are Recessions Good for Everyone’s Health? The Association between Mortality and the Business Cycle by Race in the U.S.
In this paper we study the effect of the business cycle on the mortality rate of the major racial groups in the U.S. Using county-level data from 1999 to 2005, we find that the unemployment rate is
Why are recessions good for your health?
A series of influential papers by Christopher J. Ruhm documents that recessions are “good for your health”—or, more specifically, that state-level mortality rates are strongly procyclical.
Health Effects of Economic Crises
  • C. Ruhm
  • Economics
    Health economics
  • 2016
The tentative conclusion is that economic crises affect mortality rates (and presumably other measures of health) in the same way as less severe downturns - leading to improvements in physical health.
Are Recessions Harmful to Health After All?: Evidence from the European Union
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of national unemployment rates on overall age and cause-specific mortality rates in a panel sample of 13 European Union countries.
Health Status and the Great Recession. Evidence from Electronic Health Records
We investigate the impact of the Great Recession in Italy on the incidence of chronic diseases using new individual longitudinal data from Electronic Health Records. We exploit the exogenous shock in
Unemployment and Mortality: Evidence from the PSID
Uncovering the Pathways Linking Local Economic Conditions, Occupation, and Health
Evidence that self-reported health status is procyclical is found and local measures are preferable and lead to somewhat larger estimates, which is consistent with literature on the effects of macro conditions on mental health and also has implications for using self- reported health status as a measure of physical health.
Are recessions good for everyone's health? The association between mortality and the business cycle by race/ethnicity in the US
This article studies the effect of the business cycle on the mortality rates of the major racial/ethnic groups in the USA. We use county-level data from 1999 to 2005 and employ a panel econometric


Unemployment and Infant Health: Times-Series Evidence from the State of Tennessee
The relationship between unemployment and health continues to absorb social scientists. The primary reason is the potential significance of an association. If a substantial deterioration in aggregate
Unemployment and mortality in post-war Scotland.
The relationship between unemployment, morbidity and mortality in Britain.
It is argued that by far the most promising avenue for establishing the existence and extent of any causal relationship between unemployment an either morbidity or mortality is through the analysis of longitudinal survey in which members who do not experience unemployment are included.
The relationship between socioeconomic status and health: a review of the literature.
The literature to date has been more successful in documenting health inequalities than in explaining why these inequalities persist, including several recent contributions and evidence from other countries.
A comparison of unemployment, income and mortality interaction for five European countries.
The hypothesis considered in this paper is that the secular decline in mortality rates can be attributed to the secular rise in real per capita income and that the remaining fluctuations in mortality rate can be explained by cyclical movements in income and variations in unemployment.
New evidence on the relationship between income and health.
  • S. Ettner
  • Medicine, Economics
    Journal of health economics
  • 1996
Economic status as a determinant of mortality among black and white older men: does poverty kill?
The evidence presented in this paper shows that differential mortality by economic status is strongly present in the United States today, and that this relationship is monotonic, with men's death
On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health
  • M. Grossman
  • Medicine, Economics
    Journal of Political Economy
  • 1972
A model of the demand for the commodity "good health" is constructed and it is shown that the shadow price rises with age if the rate of depreciation on the stock of health rises over the life cycle and falls with education if more educated people are more efficient producers of health.