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Effects of macroeconomic fluctuations on mental health and psychotropic medicine consumption

Mario Martínez-Jiménez and Judit Vall Castello ()
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Mario Martínez-Jiménez: Division of Health Research, Faculty of Health & Medicine, Lancaster University

International Journal of Health Economics and Management, 2020, vol. 20, issue 3, No 4, 277-297

Abstract: Abstract Our aim in this paper is to understand the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations on mental health and psychotropic medicine consumption. In order to do that we exploit differences in the fluctuations of business cycle conditions across regional units in Catalonia. Our findings suggest that, in general, economic fluctuations at the local level had no significant effect on the consumption of psychotropic medicines. However, we show that a deterioration in local labour market conditions is associated with a reduction in the consumption of anxiolytics medicines. We also report an increase in the consumption of anxiolytics in regions with a softer deterioration in the economic situation. Although we report mild improvements in both mental and physical health for some sub-groups of the population, we also find significant reductions on the probability of sleeping 6 h or more. Thus, these elements point towards potential negative effects of local labour market conditions on health in the medium/long term.

Keywords: Psychotropic consumption; Business cycle fluctuations; Mental and physical health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I10 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10754-020-09281-3

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