Alcohol-related mortality, drinking behavior, and business cycles: Are slumps really dry seasons?

Edvard Johansson, Petri Böckerman, Ritva Prättälä, Antti Uutela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the connection between alcohol-related mortality, drinking behavior, and macroeconomic conditions in Finland using both aggregate and microlevel data from recent decades. The aggregate data reveal that an improvement in economic conditions produces a decrease in alcohol-related mortality. Microlevel data show that alcohol consumption increases during economic expansion while the probability of being a drinker remains unchanged. This demonstrates that alcohol-related mortality and self-reported alcohol consumption may be delinked in the short-run business cycle context. One explanation for this paradox is that most harmful forms of drinking are not captured in survey-based data used to study the effect of macroeconomic conditions on alcohol consumption. Our evidence does not overwhelmingly support the conclusions reported for the United States that temporary economic downturns are good for health.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalEuropean Journal of Health Economics
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)212-217
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 09.2006
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Alcohol-related mortality
  • Business cycles
  • Drinking
  • 511 Economics


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