Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy

No 2017:28: Mortality and the business cycle: Evidence from individual and aggregated data

Gerard J. van den Berg (), Ulf G. Gerdtham , Stephanie von Hinke , Maarten Lindeboom , Jan Sundquist , Johannes Lissdaniels and Kristina Sundquist
Additional contact information
Gerard J. van den Berg: Department of Economics, University of Bristol; IFAU
Ulf G. Gerdtham: Health Economics Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University; Department of Economics, Lund University; Centre fo Economic Demography, Lund University
Stephanie von Hinke: Department of Economics, University of Bristol
Maarten Lindeboom: School of Business and Economics, Lund University
Jan Sundquist: Faculty of Medicine, Lund University
Johannes Lissdaniels: Health Economics Unit, Dept. of Clinical Sciences, Lund University; Swedish Agency for Health and Care Services Analysis
Kristina Sundquist: Faculty of Medicine, Lund University

Abstract: There has been much interest recently in the relationship between economic conditions and mortality, with some studies showing that mortality is pro-cyclical, while others find the opposite. Some suggest that the aggregation level of analysis (e.g. individual vs. regional) matters. We use both individual and aggregated data on a sample of 20-64 year-old Swedish men from 1993 to 2007. Our results show that the association between the business cycle and mortality does not depend on the level of analysis: the sign and magnitude of the parameter estimates are similar at the individual level and the aggregate (county) level; both showing pro-cyclical mortality.

Keywords: Death; recession; Health; unemployment; income; aggregation

JEL-codes: E30; I10; I12

25 pages, December 29, 2017

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