Recession, local employment trends and change in self-reported health of individuals: A longitudinal study in England and Wales during the ‘great recession’

Curtis, S., Norman, P., Cookson, R., Cherrie, M. & Pearce, J. (2019) Health & Place, 59,(Sept), [ONS LS]

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Abstract:

This paper contributes to a growing international literature on the relationships between economic recession and health outcomes, which has become particularly pertinent during the recent ‘great recession’, affecting many countries around the world in the period since 2008. The study is situated within the interdisciplinary field of research concerned with the wider determinants of health, and relates to an expanding series of publications in health geography (e.g., reviewed by Pearce, 2018; Pearce et al., 2018) concerned with the significance of changing environments over the lifecourse of places and how these relate to variability in health among individual residents. We report here on an analysis that combines information from two datasets produced by the United Kingdom Office of National Statistics: data for Local Authorities (Local Government units in Britain), on trends over time in economic conditions; and data from the Longitudinal Study (LS) for England and Wales (source ONS LS), providing information on individual's health and other personal characteristics for two time points, before and after the onset of recession. We present results from analyses of data on very large samples of individuals, drawn from the LS, which are derived from the population census and followed up over time at each decennial census. As discussed below, evidence from this kind of approach has been identified in reviews of research in the field as relatively unusual and necessary in order to understand the relationships involved and identify the populations most at risk of deteriorating health during recession. Our conclusions consider the implications for policy during this continuing period of economic volatility and austerity.

Available online: Health & Place,

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