The Impact of the Great Recession on Health Inequalities in Europe: Evidence from 29 Countries

There is ongoing debate regarding the impact of economic recessions on health outcomes. Additionally, prior research yields conflicting results on whether economic recessions widen the health disparity between highly educated and less educated individuals. I investigate this issue by examining the Great Recession and double-dip recessions using cross-classified multilevel models. Using longitudinal data from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) in 29 countries from 2005 to 2015, the results provide robust evidence that, on the whole, the Great Recession and the double-dip recession widened the health gap between the low-educated and the high-educated. On the other hand, the results show that austerity measures have narrowed the health gap between the high and low educated.