The U.S. health production function: evidence from 2001 to 2009

Hui-Kuan N. Tseng
Reed Olsen, Missouri State University


This study estimates the impact of the 2007 financial crisis upon U.S. health as measured by age adjusted death rates. OLS regression results suggest that the average death rate was lower in the post-crisis period than the pre-crisis period. The majority of the average decline in the death rate was a result of the time period and not a result of changes in the values of the underlying explanatory variables. We continue to find this result even adding state fixed effects. Contrary to other research, we find that the unemployment rate has no statistically significant impact on death rates either for the U.S. as a whole or for any states individually. Rather, the impact of the financial crisis is felt via year fixed effects that increased over time during the post-crisis period.