Economic uncertainty and health

Sotiris Vandoros (King's College London/Harvard)


Previous studies have examined the medium- and long-term effects of negative financial events on health and health-related behaviours, as well as the impact of job insecurity on health. This study provides evidence from two natural experiments to study the short-term impact of uncertainty on health and well-being. We use a daily economic policy uncertainty index in Great Britain, and study its relationship with the daily number of suicides and road traffic crashes using OLS and time series analyses. Furthermore, we examine the impact of the Brexit vote on mental health and subjective wellbeing using a differences-in-differences approach. Results highlight the need to intensify prevention programmes during periods of high economic uncertainty and demonstrate the importance of timing of interventions.