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High provincial unemployment rates decrease fertility

01 April 2019
Laura Viluma

High provincial unemployment rates decrease fertility, improve the socio-economic cohort composition of mothers and lead to a lower birthweight in boys. Moreover, girls exposed to unfavorable business-cycle conditions at birth are at an increased risk for fatal cardiovascular disease events in adult life. Also, stress caused by high unemployment levels can increase the probability of Cesarean delivery for male babies. These are the conclusions of Laura Viluma, who will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on 8 April.

Viluma’s thesis focuses on two aspects of the interactions between economy and health. First, based on the fetal programming hypothesis that suggests a relationship between the economic circumstances before birth and health later in life, she analyzes the impact of macroeconomic conditions around birth on infant health and on adult cardiovascular disease risk.

Moral hazard

The second part of her thesis takes a different look at the interactions of economy and health by investigating incentives for moral hazard and selection in health insurance. Viluma shows that even though healthier people are more likely to opt for a higher deductible, overall, the voluntary deductible reduces moral hazard in healthcare utilization in the Netherlands.

Additional information

Last modified:31 January 2023 09.59 a.m.
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