NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Karen J. Minyard

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Working Papers

July 2013Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession
with Erdal Tekin, Chandler McClellan: w19234
While previous studies have shown that recessions are associated with better health outcomes and behaviors, the focus of these studies has been on the relatively milder recessions of the late 20th century. In this paper, we examine if the previously established counter-cyclical pattern in health and heath behaviors is held during the Great Recession. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) between 2005 and 2011 and focusing on a wide range of outcomes capturing health and health behaviors, we show that the association between economic deterioration and these outcomes has weakened considerably during the recent recession. In fact, majority of our estimates indicate that the relationship has practically become zero, though subtle differences exist among various...

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