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Carlson K. Fear itself: the effects of distressing economic news on birth outcomes. J Health Econ. 2015;41:117–32. This study is notable because of the author’s attempt to isolate the effects of fear and/or stress associated with the announcement of mass layoffs from the material effects of job loss itself. In addition, this study includes both aggregate- and individual-level analyses, the findings of which generally converge. In counties with large layoffs, average birth weight declined approximately 1–4 months prior to the layoff.
Goldstein JR, Kreyenfeld M, Jasilioniene A, Oersal DK. Fertility reactions to the “Great Recession” in Europe: recent evidence from order-specific data. Demogr Res. 2013;29:85–104.
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Cherlin A, Cumberworth E, Morgan SP, Wimer C. The effects of the Great Recession on family structure and fertility. Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci. 2013;650:214.
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Rajmil L, Medina-Bustos A, Fernandez de Sanmamed M-J, Mompart-Penina A. Impact of the economic crisis on children’s health in Catalonia: a before-after approach. BMJ Open. 2013;3(8).
Abasaeed R, Kranz AM, Rozier RG. The impact of the Great Recession on untreated dental caries among kindergarten students in North Carolina. J Am Dent Assoc. 2013;144(9):1038–46.
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Tekin E, McClellan C, Minyard K. Health and health behaviors during the worst of times: evidence from the Great Recession. Cambridge: NBER Working Papers; 2013.
Yilmazer T, Babiarz P, Liu F. The impact of diminished housing wealth on health in the United States: evidence from the Great Recession. Soc Sci Med. 2015;130:234–41. The authors evaluated not only how changes in wealth during the Recession led to changes in multiple health outcomes, but also analyzed the effects of unrealized (e.g., housing wealth, decline of asset value invested in stocks) and realized (e.g., foreclosure, unemployment, income loss) financial losses on health. Their results showed a small, but statistically significant positive correlation between housing and non-housing wealth—but not unemployment—and psychological distress and self-rated health.
Ailshire JA. Linked lives in the “Great Recession”: personal and family economic stress and older adult health. Gerontologist. 2012;52:503.
Burgard SA, Seefeldt KS, Zelner S. Housing instability and health: findings from the Michigan recession and recovery study. Soc Sci Med. 2012;75(12):2215–24.
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McInerney M, Mellor JM. Recessions and seniors’ health, health behaviors, and healthcare use: analysis of the medicare current beneficiary survey. J Health Econ. 2012;31(5):744–51.
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Astell-Burt T, Feng X. Health and the 2008 Economic recession: evidence from the United Kingdom. Plos One. 2013;8(2). The authors analyzed data collected on quarterly basis during and since the Recession, enabling the detection of changes in health outcomes during the Recession. The prevalence of poor health status improved among the unemployed in the short run but declined at the population level in the long run.
Copeland A, Bambra C, Nylen L, Kasim A, Riva M, Curtis S, et al. All in it together? The effects of recession on population health and health inequalities in England and Sweden, 1991–2010. Int J Health Serv. 2015;45(1):3–24.
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O’Brien RL. Economy and disability: labor market conditions and the disability of working-age individuals. Soc Probl. 2013;60(3):321–33.
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Holland DP, Person AK, Stout JE. Did the ‘Great Recession’ produce a depression in tuberculosis incidence? Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15(5):700–2.
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Reeves A, McKee M, Gunnell D, Chang S-S, Basu S, Barr B, et al. Economic shocks, resilience, and male suicides in the Great Recession: cross-national analysis of 20 EU countries. Eur J Public Health. 2015;25(3):404–9.
De Vogli R, Vieno A, Lenzi M. Mortality due to mental and behavioral disorders associated with the Great Recession (2008–10) in Italy: a time trend analysis. Eur J Public Health. 2014;24(3):419–21.
DeFina R, Hannon L. The changing relationship between unemployment and suicide. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2015;45(2):217–29. This study uses a long time series (1979–2010) and rigorous statistical methods to conclude that the Great Recession led to an increase in suicide rates, but that higher unemployment levels were only partly responsible. The authors frame their analysis within the broad context of the long-term relationship between unemployment and suicide in the USA.
Gemmill A, Falconi A, Karasek D, Hartig T, Anderson E, Catalano R. Do macroeconomic contractions induce or ‘harvest’ suicides? A test of competing hypotheses. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2015.
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Houle JN, Light MT. The home foreclosure crisis and rising suicide rates, 2005 to 2010. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(6):1073–9. The authors rigorously assessed the independent effect of the home foreclosure crisis on suicide rates in the USA, and found that state-level foreclosure rates were positively associated with suicide rates overall but especially among the middle-aged. Results controlled for the effect of state-level unemployment.
Reeves A, McKee M, Stuckler D. Economic suicides in the Great Recession in Europe and North America. Br J Psychiatry. 2014;205(3):246–7.
Corcoran P, Griffin E, Arensman E, Fitzgerald AP, Perry IJ. Impact of the economic recession and subsequent austerity on suicide and self-harm in Ireland: an interrupted time-series analysis. Int J Epidemiol. 2015:969–77.
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Kaplan MS, Huguet N, Caetano R, Giesbrecht N, Kerr WC, McFarland BH. Economic contraction, alcohol intoxication and suicide: analysis of the National Violent Death Reporting System. Inj Prev. 2015;21(1):35–41.
Mulia N, Zemore SE, Murphy R, Liu H, Catalano R. Economic loss and alcohol consumption and problems during the 2008 to 2009 U. S recession. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014;38(4):1026–34.
Richman JA, Brown RL, Rospenda KM. The great recession and drinking outcomes: protective effects of politically oriented coping. J Addict. 2014;2014:646451.
Richman JA, Rospenda KM, Johnson TP, Cho YI, Vijayasira G, Cloninger L, et al. Drinking in the age of the Great Recession. J Affect Disord. 2012;31(2):158–72.
Vijayasiri G, Richman JA, Rospenda KM. The Great Recession, somatic symptomatology and alcohol use and abuse. Addict Behav. 2012;37(9):1019–24.
Zemore SE, Mulia N, Jones-Webb RJ, Liu H, Schmidt L. The 2008–2009 recession and alcohol outcomes: differential exposure and vulnerability for black and Latino populations. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2013;74(1):9–20.
Bor J, Basu S, Coutts A, McKee M, Stuckler D. Alcohol use during the Great Recession of 2008–2009. Alcohol Alcohol. 2013;48(3):343–8.
Kalousova L, Burgard SA. Unemployment, measured and perceived decline of economic resources: contrasting three measures of recessionary hardships and their implications for adopting negative health behaviors. Soc Sci Med. 2014;106:28–34.
Brown RL, Richman JA, Rospenda KM. Economic stressors and alcohol-related outcomes: exploring gender differences in the mediating role of somatic complaints. J Addict Dis. 2014;33(4):303–13.
Murphy RD, Zemore SE, Mulia N. Housing instability and alcohol problems during the 2007–2009 US recession: the moderating role of perceived family support. J Urban Health. 2014;91(1):17–32.
Nandi A, Charters TJ, Strumpf EC, Heymann J, Harper S. Economic conditions and health behaviours during the ‘Great Recession’. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013;67(12):1038–46.
Ásgeirsdóttir TL, Corman H, Noonan K, Reichman N. Lifecycle effects of a recession on health behaviors: boom, bust, and recovery in Iceland. Cambridge: NBER Working Papers; 2015. This study used individual-level longitudinal data from Iceland collected prior to and after the major economic crisis in that country. By using an individual-fixed effects approach combined with individual-level covariates, the analysis controls for both unobserved time-invariant and observed time-varying potential confounders. The authors found that the economic crisis contributed to reductions in both health-compromising and health-promoting behaviors such as smoking, binge drinking, and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
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Harhay MO, Bor J, Basu S, McKee M, Mindell JS, Shelton NJ, et al. Differential impact of the economic recession on alcohol use among white British adults, 2004–2010. Eur J Public Health. 2014;24(3):410–5.
Macy JT, Chassin L, Presson CC. Predictors of health behaviors after the economic downturn: a longitudinal study. Soc Sci Med. 2013;89:8–15.
Gallus S, Ghislandi S, Muttarak R. Effects of the economic crisis on smoking prevalence and number of smokers in the USA. Tob Control. 2015;24(1):82–8.
Benson FE, Kuipers MAG, Nierkens V, Bruggink J-W, Stronks K, Kunst AE. Socioeconomic inequalities in smoking in The Netherlands before and during the Global Financial Crisis: a repeated cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2015;15.
Nikoloski Z, Ajwad MI. Do economic crises lead to health and nutrition behavior responses? Analysis using longitudinal data from Russia. Policy Res Work Pap World Bank. 2013(6538):31. A study with longitudinal data from Russian families from 2007 to 2010 used a semi-parametric difference in difference strategy with propensity score matching. The study finds that indicators of household health and nutritional behavior do not differ between households experiencing an income loss of >30% during the crisis and those experiencing smaller or no losses
Ng SW, Slining MM, Popkin BM. Turning point for US diets? Recessionary effects or behavioral shifts in foods purchased and consumed. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;99(3):609–16.
Colman G, Dave D. Exercise, physical activity, and exertion over the business cycle. Soc Sci Med. 2013;93:11–20. This study utilized data from the American Time-Use Survey to investigate whether the local-area employment rate affected use of time on exercise through either an individual’s own change in employment or through an intra-household spillover. The authors report that, as work time decreases, recreational exercise (as well as TV-watching, sleeping, childcare, and housework) increase. These findings are strongest in low educated men, and because recreational activity does not offset work-related physical activity, total physical activity declines.
Cylus J, Glymour MM, Avendano M. Do generous unemployment benefit programs reduce suicide rates? A state fixed-effect analysis covering 1968–2008. Am J Epidemiol. 2014;180(1):45–52.
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