Addressing the unemployment–mortality conundrum: Non-linearity is the answer
Fabrizio Carmignani () and
Emilio Colombo ()
Social Science & Medicine, 2015, vol. 126, issue C, 67-72
The effect of unemployment on mortality is the object of a lively literature. However, this literature is characterized by sharply conflicting results. We revisit this issue and suggest that the relationship might be non-linear. We use data for 265 territorial units (regions) within 23 European countries over the period 2000–2012 to estimate a multivariate regression of mortality. The estimating equation allows for a quadratic relationship between unemployment and mortality. We control for various other determinants of mortality at regional and national level and we include region-specific and time-specific fixed effects. The model is also extended to account for the dynamic adjustment of mortality and possible lagged effects of unemployment. We find that the relationship between mortality and unemployment is U shaped. In the benchmark regression, when the unemployment rate is low, at 3%, an increase by one percentage point decreases average mortality by 0.7%. As unemployment increases, the effect decays: when the unemployment rate is 8% (sample average) a further increase by one percentage point decreases average mortality by 0.4%. The effect changes sign, turning from negative to positive, when unemployment is around 17%. When the unemployment rate is 25%, a further increase by one percentage point raises average mortality by 0.4%. Results hold for different causes of death and across different specifications of the estimating equation. We argue that the non-linearity arises because the level of unemployment affects the psychological and behavioural response of individuals to worsening economic conditions.
Keywords: Europe; Regional data; Unemployment; Economic crisis; Mortality; Non-linearity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
Working Paper: Addressing the unemployment-mortality conundrum: Non-linearity is the answer (2014)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:socmed:v:126:y:2015:i:c:p:67-72
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.elsevier. ... _01_ooc_1&version=01
Access Statistics for this article
Social Science & Medicine is currently edited by Ichiro (I.) Kawachi and S.V. (S.V.) Subramanian
More articles in Social Science & Medicine from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().