Economists debate: Are recessions good for health?

By: Assoc. Press
By: Assoc. Press

Does your health improve or decline during bad economic times?
Some economists argue that lost jobs can mean lost health insurance. People without money to spare sometimes skimp on buying medication they need or can't afford gym memberships.
But another school of economists believe health improves during hard times. Idled factories spew less pollution and fewer people commuting to jobs means fewer traffic deaths. Laid-off workers also have more time to exercise and cook for themselves and less money to eat out.
An Associated Press analysis of economic data and death rate estimates from the past two years suggests that in the latest downturn, at least, economic stress appears to be linked to worse health.

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