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Public Health. 2014 Oct;128(10):911-9. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2014.08.004. Epub 2014 Oct 18.

The differential impact of the financial crisis on health in Ireland and Greece: a quasi-experimental approach.

Author information

1
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Social Policy, LSE Health and Social Care, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom. Electronic address: p.hessel@lse.ac.uk.
2
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Social Policy, LSE Health and Social Care, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom; King's College London, Department of Management, London WC2R 2LS, United Kingdom.
3
London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Social Policy, LSE Health and Social Care, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom; Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Greece and Ireland suffered an economic recession of similar magnitude, but whether their health has deteriorated as a result has not yet been well established.

STUDY DESIGN:

Based on five waves (2006-2010) of the European Union Statistics of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey a (DID) approach was implemented that compared trends in self-rated health in Greece and Ireland before and after the crisis with trends in a 'control' population (Poland) that did not experience a recession and had health trends comparable to both countries before the crisis.

METHODS:

Logistic regression using a (DID) approach.

RESULTS:

A simple examination of trends suggests that there was no significant change in health in Greece or Ireland following the onset of the financial crisis. However, DID estimates that incorporated a control population suggest an increase in the prevalence of poor self-rated health in Greece (OR = 1.216; CI = 1.11-1.32). Effects were most pronounced for older individuals and those living in high-density areas, but effects in Greece were overwhelmingly consistent in different population sub-groups. In contrast, DID estimates revealed no effect of the financial crisis on the prevalence of poor self-rated health in Ireland (OR = 0.97; CI = 0.81-1.16).

CONCLUSIONS:

DID estimates suggest that the financial crisis led to higher prevalence of reporting poor health in Greece but not in Ireland. Although the research design does not allow the authors to directly assess the role of specific policies, contextual factors including policy responses may have contributed to the different effect of the crisis on the health of the two countries.

KEYWORDS:

Crisis; Economics; Health policy; Public health; Self-rated health

PMID:
25369355
PMCID:
PMC4393742
DOI:
10.1016/j.puhe.2014.08.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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