Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2017:5: Mortality and the Business Cycle: Evidence from Individual and Aggregated Data

Gerard J. van den Berg (), Ulf-G. Gerdtham (), Stephanie von Hinke (), Maarten Lindeboom (), Johannes Lissdaniels (), Jan Sundquist () and Kristina Sundquist ()
Additional contact information
Gerard J. van den Berg: University of Mannheim
Ulf-G. Gerdtham: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden
Stephanie von Hinke: Department of Economics, Bristol University
Maarten Lindeboom: Tinbergen Institute, VU Amsterdam
Johannes Lissdaniels: Department of Clinical Science, Lund University
Jan Sundquist: Center for Primary Health Care Research, Lund University
Kristina Sundquist: Center for Primary Health Care Research, 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: Mortality; Recessions; Business Cycle; Health; Unemployment; Income.

JEL-codes: E03; I10; I12

26 pages, March 7, 2017

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