Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


Recent research indicates that healthier lifestyles during recessions decrease the most common U.S. mortalities, but not cancer. However, they combine specific cancer mortalities with different progressions into one, possibly obscuring cancer’s link to unemployment. This paper estimates a fixed-effects regression model on unemployment and the nine most prevalent cancers between 1988 and 2002 using state-level panel data. Five cancers and total cancer are procyclical, and suggest that unemployment affects both incidence and gestation for some cancers. Consistent with the medical literature, this paper contradicts previous economic research and suggests that behavioral factors significantly impact cancer mortality.



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