The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors

46 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2010 Last revised: 5 Jul 2010

See all articles by Xin Xu

Xin Xu

University of Illinois at Chicago

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: February 2010

Abstract

In this paper, we take a structural approach to investigate the effects of wages and working hours on health behaviors of low-educated persons using variation in wages and hours caused by changes in economic activity. We find that increases in hours are associated with an increase in cigarette smoking, a reduction in physical activity, and fewer visits to physicians. More importantly, we find that most of the effects associated with changes in hours can be attributed to the changes in the extensive margin of employment. Increases in wages are associated with greater consumption of cigarettes.

Suggested Citation

Xu, Xin and Kaestner, Robert, The Business Cycle and Health Behaviors (February 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15737, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1550606

Xin Xu (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60607
United States

Robert Kaestner

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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