Employment Kills (was: Theory vs. Data)

From: Robin Hanson (rhanson@gmu.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 30 2000 - 08:35:42 MDT

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
>Chris Hibbert wrote:
> > rhanson@gmu.edu said:
> > > (Btw, in the short term the US mortality rate goes *up* .5% for every
> > > 1% the unemployment rate falls. See May 2000 QJE.)
> >
> > Your emphasis notwithstanding, did you really mean to say that death rates
> > go up when employment rates go up? (i.e. when unemployment rates go down)
> > That *would* be pretty surprising.
>That might be explained as a simple consequence of the fact that in
>out present culture, having a job generally implies driving a car.

Yes, I did mean to say that, and yes, more driving is ~15% of the story.

In good times, suicide deaths fall, and cancer deaths are unchanged,
but rising are car and other accident deaths, and deaths from murder,
flu, and liver and heart disease. Falling are leisure time,
drinking, fruit/veggie intake, physical activity, while rising are
income, smoking, fat intake, routine medical checkups, and pap smears.

Robin Hanson rhanson@gmu.edu http://hanson.gmu.edu
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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