Project in detail

The recent economic crisis and old-age health in Europe

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European countries experience turbulent times: the 2007/2008 financial crisis was followed by a severe economic downturn in many countries and most recently the European Union members struggle from the sovereign debt crisis. Even though many countries have taken quick policy measures to prevent the worst impact, unemployment rates increased dramatically and, more recently, budget crises are demanding grave cuts in government expenditure. Concerns have been raised that the recent shock to the macroeconomic conditions might have negative consequences for public health. We analyse the effects of the most recent adverse macroeconomic conditions on health outcomes across European countries in order to shed light on the relationship between macro-shocks and health among the older population. More specifically, we match information about the severity of the current crisis at the regional level measured by the changes in the age-specific employment rates, i. e. employment among the 55 to 64 year old, at NUTS (Nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques) 1 level to the SHARE data and analyse the relation between macro-conditions and individuals’ subjective health of the population aged 50 to 70. We look at the overall effect of the economic crises on changes in health among older persons. Therefore, we measure health before the start of the crisis in 2006 (Wave 2) and again in 2010 (Wave 4). The effects are analysed for specific subsets of countries, by labour market status, and by education. The results have been published in the SHARE first results book of wave 4.

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