Business cycles and mortality: results from Swedish microdata

Soc Sci Med. 2005 Jan;60(1):205-18. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.05.004.


We assess the relationship between business cycles and mortality risk using a large individual level data set on over 40,000 individuals in Sweden who were followed for 10-16 years (leading to over 500,000 person-year observations). We test the effect of six alternative business cycle indicators on the mortality risk: the unemployment rate, the notification rate, the deviation from the GDP trend, the GDP change, the industry capacity utilization, and the industry confidence indicator. For men we find a significant countercyclical relationship between the business cycle and the mortality risk for four of the indicators and a non-significant effect for the other two indicators. For women we cannot reject the null hypothesis of no effect for any of the business cycle indicators.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death / trends
  • Commerce / trends*
  • Economics / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Probability
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Unemployment / statistics & numerical data*