Hard times or good times? Inequalities in the health effects of economic change
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The financial crisis in 2007 led to a deepening economic recession with global reductions in economic growth and rising unemployment. This has led to renewed discussions about the effects of economic cycles on population health both in the popular media and in academia. The media coverage tends to speculate on the idea that mortality increases around times of economic downturn, reflecting findings from some research which suggests that mortality trends are ‘counter-cyclical’ to economic trends. However, there appear to be varying views in the academic literature concerning the relationship between macroeconomic fluctuations and population health. A ‘pro-cyclical’ relationship has been reported in several studies; i.e. mortality rates get worse when the economy is growing and improve during periods of economic recession (Gerdtham and Ruhm 2006; Ruhm 2000; Tapia Granados 2005; Tapia Granados and Ionides 2008; Laporte 2004; Neumayer 2004). In other words, economic recession is associated...
KeywordsHealth Inequality Employment Rate Economic Recession Economic Trend Local Labour Market
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