Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s

David M. Cutler, Felicia Knaul, Rafael Lozano, Oscar Mendez, Beatriz Zurita

NBER Working Paper No. 7746
Issued in June 2000
NBER Program(s):Health Care

We study the impact of economic crisis on health in Mexico. There have been four wide-scale economic crises in Mexico in the past two decades, the most recent in 1995-96. We find that mortality rates for the very young and the elderly increase or decline less rapidly in crisis years as compared with non-crisis years. In late 1995-96 crisis, mortality rates were about 5 to 7 percent higher in the crisis years compared to the years just prior to the crisis. This translates into a 0.4 percent increase in mortality for the elderly and a 0.06 percent increase in mortality for the very young. We find tentative evidence that economic crises affect mortality by reducing incomes and possibly by placing a greater burden on the medical sector, but not by forcing less healthy members of the population to work or by forcing primary caregivers to go to work.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7746

Published: Cutler, David, Felicia Knaul, Rafael Lozano, Oscar Mendez and Beatriz Zurita. "Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes And Ageing: Mexico In The 1980s And 1990s," Journal of Public Economics, 2002, v84(2,May), 279-303. citation courtesy of

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