CHART OF THE DAY: Bad Economy Means Less Death

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Good news! The recession means fewer people are dying — or, to put it another way, people are living longer. A new study from the Canadian Medical Association Journal confirms a long-held theory, that mortality is pro-cyclical, meaning that the better the economy, the more people are dying. This is not the case in poor countries.

What explains the effect? The authors cite a few mechanisms, including the increased use of social safety nets, having more leisure time, less overeating, less alcohol consumption and also (logically) less worker stress.

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