NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Liquidity, Activity, Mortality

William N. Evans, Timothy J. Moore

NBER Working Paper No. 15310
Issued in September 2009
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

We document a within-month mortality cycle where deaths decline before the 1st day of the month and then spike after the 1st. This cycle is present across a wide variety of causes and demographic groups. A similar cycle exists for a range of activities, suggesting the mortality cycle may be due to short-term variation in levels of activity. We provide evidence that the within-month activity cycle is generated by liquidity. Our results suggest a causal pathway whereby liquidity problems reduce activity, which in turn reduces mortality. These relationships help explain the pro-cyclic nature of mortality.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15310

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