Financial crisis, health outcomes and ageing: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s

David M. Cutler, Felicia Knaul, Rafael Lozano, Oscar Méndez, Beatriz Zurita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


We study the impact of economic crisis on health in Mexico. There have been four wide-scale economic crises in Mexico in the past two decades, the most recent in 1995-96. We find that mortality rates for the very young and the elderly increase or decline less rapidly in crisis years as compared with non-crisis years. In the 1995-96 crisis, mortality rates were about 5 to 7 percent higher in the crisis years compared to the years just prior to the crisis. This translates into a 0.4 percent increase in mortality for the elderly and a 0.06 percent increase in mortality for the very young. We find tentative evidence that economic crises affect mortality by reducing incomes and possibly by placing a greater burden on the medical sector, but not by forcing less healthy members of the population to work or by forcing primary caregivers to go to work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-303
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Financial crises
  • Health outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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