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The Wealth, Health and Wellbeing of Ireland's Older People Before and During the Economic Crisis

Author

Listed:
  • Barrett, Alan

    () (ESRI, Dublin)

  • O'Sullivan, Vincent

    () (Lancaster University)

Abstract

The economic crisis of 2008/9 was felt more acutely in Ireland relative to elsewhere and culminated in the international bailout in 2010. Given the economic collapse, Ireland provides an ideal case-study of the link between wealth collapses and movements in variables such as health and well-being. Using nationally-representative samples of older people collected before and during the crisis, we show that mean net assets fell by 45 percent between 2006/7 and 2012/13. In spite of this massive fall in wealth, measures of health and well-being remained broadly unchanged. However, expectations about future living standards became less optimistic. The results tend to support the findings of other recent studies that recessions do not have widespread negative effects on health and well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Alan & O'Sullivan, Vincent, 2013. "The Wealth, Health and Wellbeing of Ireland's Older People Before and During the Economic Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 7832, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7832
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Erdal Tekin & Chandler McClellan & Karen Jean Minyard, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times," NBER Working Papers 19234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    3. Vincent O'Sullivan & Brian Nolan & Alan Barrett & Cara Dooley, 2014. "Income and Wealth in The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(3), pages 329-348.
    4. Tekin, Erdal & McClellan, Chandler & Minyard, Karen Jean, 2013. "Health and Health Behaviors during the Worst of Times: Evidence from the Great Recession," IZA Discussion Papers 7538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
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    Cited by:

    1. Irene Mosca & Alan Barrett, 2016. "The impact of adult child emigration on the mental health of older parents," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 687-719, July.
    2. Mosca, Irene & McCrory, Cathal, 2016. "Personality and wealth accumulation among older couples: Do dispositional characteristics pay dividends?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-19.
    3. David Madden, 2015. "Health and Wealth on the Roller-Coaster: Ireland, 2003–2011," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 121(2), pages 387-412, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wellbeing; health; wealth; recession;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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