NBER

David Slusky, Richard J. Zeckhauser

Bibliographic Information

NBER Working Paper No. 24340
Issued in February 2018, Revised in July 2020
NBER Program(s):CH, EEE, HC, HE, PE

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the 2018 number 2 issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper was revised on July 8, 2020

Available Formats

Abstract

Recent medical literature suggests that vitamin D supplementation protects against acute respiratory tract infection. Humans exposed to sunlight produce vitamin D directly. This paper investigates how differences in sunlight, as measured over several years across states and during the same calendar week, affect influenza incidence. We find that sunlight strongly protects against getting influenza. This relationship is driven almost entirely by the severe H1N1 epidemic in fall 2009. A 10% increase in relative sunlight decreases the influenza index in September or October by 1.1 points on a 10-point scale. A second, complementary study employs a separate data set to study flu incidence in counties in New York State. The results are strongly in accord.

National Bureau of Economic Research
1050 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
617-868-3900
info@nber.org

Twitter RSS

View Full Site: One timeAlways