Macroeconomic Conditions and Health: Inspecting the Transmission Mechanism

25 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016

See all articles by Emilio Colombo

Emilio Colombo

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan

Valentina Rotondi

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering; National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS)

Date Written: May 6, 2016

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of labor market conditions on individual- level health, investigating the factors that moderate and mediate this relationship. Using a large and representative sample of individuals in Italy between 1993 and 2012, we shed light on the transmission mechanism, focusing on the role played by health behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, eating habits) and economic stress. We find that, overall, higher local unemployment negatively affects health, with a dynamic response that differs across health conditions. Employment status and educational level play a significant role as moderators of these effects. Eating habits, in addition to economic stress, are found to play a key role in the transmission mechanism, while physical activity acts as a buffer against the adverse health effects of unemployment shocks.

Keywords: economic conditions, unemployment, health behaviors, health outcomes

JEL Classification: I1, I10, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Colombo, Emilio and Rotondi, Valentina and Stanca, Luca, Macroeconomic Conditions and Health: Inspecting the Transmission Mechanism (May 6, 2016). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 337. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776765 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2776765

Emilio Colombo

Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan ( email )

Largo Gemelli, 1
Via Necchi 9
Milan, MI 20123
Italy

Valentina Rotondi

Polytechnic University of Milan - Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering ( email )

Via Lambruschini 4C - building 26/A
Milano, 20156
Italy

National Research University Higher School of Economics - Laboratory for Comparative Social Research ( email )

47a, prospect Rimskogo-Korsakova
Saint-Petersburg, 190068
Russia

Luca Stanca (Contact Author)

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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