Recessions and public health: Body of research

Posted: August 23, 2013 in economy
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UK Only Article: 
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How India got its funk

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Recessions and public health


The impact of downturns on physical and mental health

EXAM results capture pupils’ achievements but not their enjoyment of learning. Life expectancy does not say anything about quality of life. Similarly, statistics on unemployment rates and wage levels do not tell the full story of recessions. Social scientists are increasingly interested in the effects of downturns on public health.
These effects are unclear. There is some evidence that physical health may actually improve in downturns. One paper by Christopher Ruhm, now of the University of Virginia, looking at American data from 1972 to 1991, suggests that a one-percentage-point increase in unemployment reduced mortality by 4.6 deaths per 100,000 people. “With shorter working hours, people spend more time at home with their families and may be less stressed from overwork,” suggests Stephen Bezruchka of the University of Washington.

But there is also evidence that big economic crises are correlated …

via Economic Crisis


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