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Author: Colman, Gregory J.
Resulting in 3 citations.
1. Colman, Gregory J.
Dave, Dhaval
Unemployment and Health Behaviors over the Business Cycle: A Longitudinal View
NBER Working Paper No. 20748, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2014.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20748.pdf
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Exercise; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Nutritional Status/Nutrition/Consumption Behaviors; Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID); Physical Activity (see also Exercise); Smoking (see Cigarette Use); Unemployment

We examine the first-order internal effects of unemployment on a range of health behaviors during the most recent recession using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). Consistent with prior studies based on cross-sectional data, we find that becoming unemployed is associated with a small increase in leisure-time exercise and in body weight, a moderate decrease in smoking, and a substantial decline in total physical activity. We also find that unemployment is associated with a decline in purchases of fast food. Together, these results imply that both energy consumption and expenditure decline in the U.S. during recessions, the net result being a slight increase in body weight. There is generally considerable heterogeneity in these effects across specific health behaviors, across the intensive and extensive margins, across the outcome distribution, and across gender.
Bibliography Citation
Colman, Gregory J. and Dhaval Dave. "Unemployment and Health Behaviors over the Business Cycle: A Longitudinal View." NBER Working Paper No. 20748, National Bureau of Economic Research, December 2014.
2. Colman, Gregory J.
Dave, Dhaval
Unemployment and Health Behaviors over the Business Cycle: A Longitudinal View
Southern Economic Journal 85,1 (July 2018): 93-120.
Also: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/soej.12283
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Wiley Online
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Economic Changes/Recession; Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID); Physical Activity (see also Exercise); Smoking (see Cigarette Use); Unemployment

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

We examine the first‐order internal effects of unemployment and nonemployment on a range of health behaviors during the most recent recession using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth‐1979. Ours is the first study to analyze the effect of own‐unemployment on energy intake, energy expenditure, and the net effect (body mass index) using longitudinal records. Exploiting information enveloping the recent steep recession and prolonged recovery is valuable since recent job losers will modify their behavior little if they expect soon to be re‐employed, whereas if they expect joblessness to last, they will adjust to a possibly prolonged decline in income and increase in nonwork time. We find that becoming unemployed is associated with a small increase in leisure‐time exercise, a moderate decrease in smoking, and a substantial decline in total physical activity. We also find that unemployment and nonemployment are associated with a decline in purchases of fast food. Together, these results imply that both energy consumption and expenditure may decline in the United States during recessions, the net result being essentially no change in body weight. There is considerable heterogeneity in these effects across specific health behaviors, across the intensive and extensive margins, across the outcome distribution, and across gender.
Bibliography Citation
Colman, Gregory J. and Dhaval Dave. "Unemployment and Health Behaviors over the Business Cycle: A Longitudinal View." Southern Economic Journal 85,1 (July 2018): 93-120.
3. Dave, Dhaval
Tennant, Jennifer
Colman, Gregory J.
Isolating the Effect of Major Depression on Obesity: Role of Selection Bias
Working Paper No. 17068. National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2011.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17068
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); CESD (Depression Scale); Depression (see also CESD); Health Factors; Health, Mental; Obesity; Weight

There is suggestive evidence that rates of major depression have risen markedly in the U.S. concurrent with the rise in obesity. The economic burden of depression, about $100 billion annually, is under-estimated if depression has a positive causal impact on obesity. If depression plays a causal role in increasing the prevalence of obesity, then policy interventions aimed at promoting mental health may also have the indirect benefits of promoting a healthy bodyweight. However, virtually the entire existing literature on the connection between the two conditions has examined merely whether they are significantly correlated, sometimes holding constant a limited set of demographic factors. This study utilizes multiple large-scale nationally-representative datasets to assess whether, and the extent to which, the positive association reflects a causal link from major depression to higher BMI and obesity. While contemporaneous effects are considered, the study primarily focuses on the effects of past and lifetime depression to bypass reverse causality and further assess the role of non-random selection on unobservable factors. There are expectedly no significant or substantial effects of current depression on BMI or overweight/obesity, given that BMI is a stock measure that changes relatively slowly over time. Results are also not supportive of a causal interpretation among males. However, among females, estimates indicate that past or lifetime diagnosis of major depression raises the probability of being overweight or obese by about seven percentage points. Results also suggest that this effect appears to plausibly operate through shifts in food consumption and physical activity. We estimate that this higher risk of overweight and obesity among females could potentially add about 10% (or $9.7 billion) to the estimated economic burden of depression.
Bibliography Citation
Dave, Dhaval, Jennifer Tennant and Gregory J. Colman. "Isolating the Effect of Major Depression on Obesity: Role of Selection Bias." Working Paper No. 17068. National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2011.