Uncovering the Pathways Linking Local Economic Conditions, Occupation, and Health

24 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2010  

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

Shintaro Yamaguchi

McMaster University - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 10, 2010

Abstract

This paper uses ten years of data from the PSID to examine the effects of economic conditions on health status. We expand on current research in this area by focusing on local (county) rather than aggregate (state/nation) conditions, using a panel data set, and examining a pre-mortality outcome (self-reported health status). In contrast with much of the previous literature, we find evidence that self-reported health status is procyclical. Generally the results suggest a reduction in health from each point increase in the unemployment rate that is equivalent to aging between 1-2 years. The results suggest that local measures are preferable and lead to somewhat larger estimates. We then present evidence that these effects are primarily psychologically driven, which is consistent with literature on the effects of macro conditions on mental health and also has implications for using self-reported health status as a measure of physical health.

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Jason M. and Yamaguchi, Shintaro, Uncovering the Pathways Linking Local Economic Conditions, Occupation, and Health (November 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1707205 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1707205

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

Shintaro Yamaguchi (Contact Author)

McMaster University - Department of Economics ( email )

Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M4
Canada

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