Contributors: De Vogli, Roberto, Prof. Dr. (UC Davis Health System)
Scientific paper contribution: The Great Recession and Health: From Neoliberal Austerity to “Healthy De-Growth”
Abstract: Since the eve of the meltdown, global unemployment has increased by more than 30 million people, but has the financial crisis also affected our health? Evidence indicates that the Great Recession led to increases in unemployment and suicides rates both in Europe and in the United States. While financial crises are associated with rising unemployment, social instability and the rise of suicides, evidence also shows that they can generate positive health outcomes. Both in Europe and in the United States, there has also been an overall reduction of all-cause mortality rates and deaths due to traffic accidents. Favorable health outcomes in times of crises are more likely to be experienced by nations with stronger social protection and higher social spending. Evidence also shows that recessions do not necessarily lead to worsening health outcomes when governments commit themselves to a more egalitarian distribution of resources and abandon policies of neoliberal austerity and market deregulation.