Mortality and the business cycle: Evidence from individual and aggregated data

Author: Gerard J. van den Berg, And Ulf G. Gerdtham, And Stephanie von Hinke, And Maarten Lindeboom, And Johannes Lissdaniels, And Jan Sundquist, And Kristina Sundquist, And

Published in: Journal of Health Economics, December 2017, vol. 56, pp. 61-70

Summary of Working paper 2017:28

There has been much interest recently in the relationship between economic conditions and mortality, with some studies showing that mortality is pro-cyclical, while others find the opposite. Some suggest that the aggregation level of analysis (e.g. individual vs. regional) matters. We use both individual and aggregated data on a sample of 20–64 year-old Swedish men from 1993 to 2007.

Our results show that the association between the business cycle and mortality does not depend on the level of analysis: the sign and magnitude of the parameter estimates are similar at the individual level and the aggregate (county) level; both showing pro-cyclical mortality.