Mortality Effects of the Great Recession in High-Income Nations

Glenn Firebaugh, Pennsylvania State University
Francesco Acciai, Pennsylvania State University

The 2008 Great Recession has shaken the economies around the globe; many have worried about its possible negative consequences on population health. However, research often finds that life expectancy rises faster during economic downturns. This is in contrast with the long-run positive association between economic growth and longevity. In order to shed light on this issue we analyze the cause-specific mortality trends before and after 2008 in a number of high-income countries differently affected by the Recession. By using a newly-developed demographic decomposition method we are able to determine, for each cause of death, what portion of the change in life expectancy derives from change in probability of dying of that specific cause and what portion derives from change in cause-specific age at death. This will allow us to pinpoint the specific effect that the Recession had on each cause of death, within each country.

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Presented in Session 109: Health Implications of the Great Recession