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. Design/methodology/approach – A fixed-effects model is used to control for unobserved time-invariant characteristics within countries. In addition, controls such as lifestyle risk factors, urbanisation and medical intervention indicators, for potential confounders are used. Findings – Contrary to some recent evidence this study shows that there is a strong, positive relationship between adverse economic conditions and mortality. This is in contrast to findings about the US case. Originality/value – This paper revisits the issue of the unemployment-mortality relationship by utilising fixed effect models with controls for various indicators that are expected to affect mortality, in contrast to previous studies.
Death rate, Europe, Personal health, Recession, Unemployment
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