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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-919
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Health
Volume128
Issue number10
Early online date17 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

King's Authors

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.

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