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Mortality and Macroeconomic Conditions: What Can We Learn From France?

  • Max Brüning
  • Josselin ThuilliezEmail author


This study uses aggregate panel data on French départements to investigate the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and mortality from 1982 to 2014. We find no consistent relationship between macroeconomic conditions and all-cause mortality in France. The results are robust across different specifications, over time, and across different geographic levels. However, we find that heterogeneity across age groups and mortality causes matters. Furthermore, in areas with a low average educational level, a large population, and a high share of migrants, mortality is significantly countercyclical. Similar to the case in the United States, the relationship between the unemployment rate and mortality seems to have moved from slightly procyclical to slightly countercyclical over the period of analysis.


Health Mortality Recessions Unemployment Macroeconomic conditions 



We thank the CépiDc for the mortality data used in this analysis. We thank Thomas Buchmueller for kindly sharing part of his data set with us for the replication of Buchmueller et al. (2007) provided in section B of the online appendix. We also thank Janet Currie for helpful guidance.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, School of Business and EconomicsMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.CNRS – Centre d’économie de la SorbonneParisFrance

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