Report: July 2018

Mazeikaite, G., O’Donoghue, C., & Sologon, D. (2018). The Great Recession, financial strain and self-assessed health in Ireland (LISER Working Paper Series No. 2018–12). LISER.

In this paper, we study the effects of the 2008 economic crisis on general health in one of the most severely affected EU economies? Ireland. We examine the relationship between compositional changes in demographic and socio-economic factors, such as education, income, and financial strain, and changes in the prevalence of poor self-assessed health over a 5-year period (2008-2013). We apply a generalized Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition approach for non-linear regression models proposed by Fairlie (1999, 2005). Results show that the increased financial strain explained the largest part of the increase in poor health in the Irish population and different sub-groups. Changes in the economic activity status and population structure also had a significant positive effect. The expansion of education had a significant negative effect, preventing further increases in poor health. Wealthier and better-educated individuals experienced larger relative increases in poor health, which led to reduced socioeconomic health inequalities.