Apr 14 2008

Recession: good for your health?

Published by at 12:04 am under Uncategorized

Recession may be bad for your income, employment and level of consumption, but it might be just what you need to get yourself into better shape! Turns out when times are tough economically, Americans are at their healthiest. Listen to this short conversation:

What do you think? Is this ridiculous or is there really something to it?

About the author:  Jason Welker teaches International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement Economics at Zurich International School in Switzerland. In addition to publishing various online resources for economics students and teachers, Jason developed the online version of the Economics course for the IB and is has authored two Economics textbooks: Pearson Baccalaureate’s Economics for the IB Diploma and REA’s AP Macroeconomics Crash Course. Jason is a native of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and is a passionate adventurer, who considers himself a skier / mountain biker who teaches Economics in his free time. He and his wife keep a ski chalet in the mountains of Northern Idaho, which now that they live in the Swiss Alps gets far too little use. Read more posts by this author

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Recession: good for your health?”

  1. Annon 12 May 2008 at 8:17 am

    Yeah, I read this before. Please note it is not as if this type of research is without controversy. This research topic started way back in the 1920s with Dorothy Thomas. Since then each time this topic comes up, usually by economists (wouldn't you know it?) or other type of macro-data analysts, it's been debated.

    It is not that economic upturns are good for your health either, but, tell a man who lives in the inner city, who just lost his job during an economic down-turn or a recession that the hard-times he's enduring are good for his health and see what he says.

    It's sort of middle-class research by profs who's trying to make a name for themselves in publish or perish academia.

  2. Jason Welkeron 12 May 2008 at 9:03 am

    Ann, thanks… good points too! I agree the research is a bit ridiculous, and of course you're right that on a micro level a recession is not good for individuals who suffer from it. But as economists do, I think the researcher here is speaking in terms of aggregates, on a macro level, and showing a correlation between economic downturns and overall improvements in health. This is certainly no consolation to someone who's lost their job and can't pay their mortgage… simply an observation of the macro effect of recessions on the nation's overall health.

    Thanks again for the comment!