NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Health and Unemployment during Macroeconomic Crises

Prashant Bharadwaj, Petter Lundborg, Dan-Olof Rooth

NBER Working Paper No. 21353
Issued in July 2015
NBER Program(s):Children, Health Economics, Public Economics

This paper shows that health is an important determinant of labor market vulnerability during large economic crises. Using data on adults during Sweden’s unexpected economic crisis in the early 1990s, we show that early and later life health are important determinants of job loss after the crisis, but not before. Adults who were born with worse health (proxied by birth weight) and those who experience hospitalizations (and especially so for mental health related issues) in the pre-crisis period, are much more likely to lose their jobs and go on unemployment insurance after the crisis. These effects are concentrated in the private sector that happened to be more affected by the crisis. The results hold while controlling for individual education and occupational sorting prior to the crisis, and for controlling for family level characteristics by exploiting health differences within twin pairs. We conclude that poor health (both in early life and as adults) is an important indicator of vulnerability during economic shocks.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21353

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Ruhm w21604 Health Effects of Economic Crises
Bloom, Kuhn, and Prettner w21411 The Contribution of Female Health to Economic Development
Bharadwaj, Lundborg, and Rooth w21354 Birth Weight in the Long Run
Anderson w21578 As the Wind Blows: The Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution on Mortality
Colman and Dave w20748 Unemployment and Health Behaviors Over the Business Cycle: a Longitudinal View
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us