Are Recessions Good for Everyone's Health? The Association between Mortality and the Business Cycle by Race in the U.S

Posted: 7 Jul 2011

See all articles by Fidel Gonzalez

Fidel Gonzalez

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business

Troy C. Quast

University of South Florida

Date Written: June 2010

Abstract

In this paper we study the effect of the business cycle on the mortality rate of the major racial groups in the U.S. Using county-level data from 1999 to 2005, we find that the unemployment rate is negatively related to mortality for whites and latinos but that there is not a statistically significant relationship for blacks. Moreover, the magnitude of this relationship is larger for latinos than for whites. Finally, the relationship becomes more pronounced for latinos and whites as the proportion of population of that race increases. Taken together, these findings suggest that the procyclical association between mortality and the business cycle identified in previous studies of the general U.S. population may vary by race.

Keywords: business cycles, mortality, Race

Suggested Citation

Gonzalez, Fidel and Quast, Troy C., Are Recessions Good for Everyone's Health? The Association between Mortality and the Business Cycle by Race in the U.S (June 2010). American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1880757

Fidel Gonzalez

Sam Houston State University - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics and International Business ( email )

Huntsville, TX 77341-2118
United States

Troy C. Quast

University of South Florida ( email )

12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33620
United States

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