Department of Economics
University of Essex
Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Estimating the Recession-Mortality Relationship when Migration Matters|
with Brian Beach, W. Walker Hanlon: w23507
A large literature following Ruhm (2000) suggests that mortality falls during recessions and rises during booms. The panel-data approach used to generate these results assumes that either there is no substantial migration response to temporary changes in local economic conditions, or that any such response is accurately captured by intercensal population estimates. To assess the importance of these assumptions, we examine two natural experiments: the recession in cotton textile-producing districts of Britain during the U.S. Civil War, and the coal boom in Appalachian counties of the U.S. that followed the OPEC oil embargo in the 1970s. In both settings, we find evidence of a substantial migratory response. Moreover, we show that estimates of the relationship between business cycles and mor...