Impact of economic cycles on mortality: The Australian context
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In many countries it has been established that short-run cyclical patterns in mortality are associated with economic fluctuations. This study aims to investigate the pattern of cyclical mortality in Australia, that is, whether increases or decreases in mortality rates are associated with changes in the economy. Employing logistic fixed-effects models, we show that there is a significant counter-cyclical pattern of mortality (mortality increases during economic contractions) in the general Australian population, over the period 1985–2008. This is an important finding which suggests that steps taken to stimulate the economy during downturns could, apart from other benefits, help reduce the associated increase in mortality. Further analysis by economic growth cycles indicates that the observed counter-cyclical pattern of mortality is significant during phases of expansion but not during contractionary phases.
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