Local labor market fluctuations and health: is there a connection and for whom?

J Health Econ. 2008 Dec;27(6):1532-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.06.004. Epub 2008 Jun 22.


We examine the relationship between local labor market conditions and several measures of health and health behaviors for a sample of working-aged men living in the 58 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. We find evidence of procyclical relationships for weight-related health and mental health for men with low ex ante employment probabilities. Separate estimates suggest worsening labor market conditions lead to weight gains and reduced mental health among African-American men and lower mental health among less-educated males. Among our findings, those related to mental health are most pronounced.

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Unemployment
  • United States / epidemiology