Long-Run Effect of Severe Economic Recessions: Drastic Changes in Working Hours and Male BMI Trajectories

Posted: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Olena Y. Nizalova

Olena Y. Nizalova

Kyiv School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Edward C. Norton

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Date Written: June 25, 2013

Abstract

We turn to the experience of Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union to investigate how individual labor market shocks during severe recessions affect BMI and health-related behaviors of men in the longer run. We apply growth curve modeling to analyze BMI trajectories from 2003 to 2007 and find that past exogenous labor market shocks (e.g., plant closings, bankruptcies, restructuring, privatization, and compulsory job leaves) from 1986 to 2003 significantly change the BMI-age relationship for men. While the BMI growth of those who never experienced a labor market shock follows a quadratic age pattern, individuals who had one or more exogenous labor market shock start out with higher BMI at age 18-30, but then the BMI growth is flatter and nearly linear, overtaking the BMI growth in the comparison group at age 60. The effects on other health behaviors are mixed. We find no long-lasting effect on drinking behavior, while labor market shocks increase the probability of smoking and decrease the probability of engaging in vigorous or moderate physical activity across all ages.

Keywords: severe recession, BMI trajectory, growth curve, transition economy

JEL Classification: I12, J65, E24

Suggested Citation

Nizalova, Olena Y. and Norton, Edward C., Long-Run Effect of Severe Economic Recessions: Drastic Changes in Working Hours and Male BMI Trajectories (June 25, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2285187 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2285187

Olena Y. Nizalova (Contact Author)

Kyiv School of Economics ( email )

13 Yakira Str
Kyiv, 04119
Ukraine
+ 38 044 492 8012 (Phone)
+ 38 044 492 8011 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kse.org.ua

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Edward C. Norton

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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