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Recessions are not good for your health: the counter-cyclical health outcomes revisited

Muhammad Asali ()

European Economic Letters, 2015, vol. 4, issue 1, 11-14

Abstract: The net, positive, effect of unemployment at conception on birth outcomes in developed countries is likely overestimated in the literature. This is the consequence of ignoring the effects of unemployment during pregnancy. Using data from Israel, we not only confirm this finding but also find that the harmful effects of unemployment in the third trimester are large enough to offset any preceding positive effects. Stress and nutritional deficiencies due to economic contractions during pregnancy are at least as important as the positive self-selection at conception. This finding calls for policy intervention to support pregnant women even in developed countries.

Keywords: recession; health outcomes; birth weight; developed countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E24 E32 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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