The effect of social protection and income maintenance policies on health and health inequalities
2013 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 23, no Suppl. 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
As a starting point we review the existing evidence on welfare states, health and health inequalities, from 2005 onwards. Three different approaches emerge in these previous studies – the welfare regime approach, the welfare institutions approach and the social spending approach. While no clear picture emerges for the welfare regime approach, summarising findings regarding the institutional and expenditure approach suggest that a higher degree of generosity and social spending benefits public health. These are therefore approaches we follow to arrive at a better understanding of what type of policies are linked to smaller inequalities in health across the life-course.
A starting point in the analyses is the relation between income, poverty and mortality. The cross-national variation in poverty rates, both absolute (poverty threshold) and relative (60 per cent of median income) measure, and mortality rates in European 26 countries will be considered.
The second step in the analysis focuses on the relationship between social rights and subjective health in Europe, with a focus on national variations and changes in social rights to levels and changes in subjective health outcomes across several countries. The data holds information regarding social rights and social expenditure, including individual data from EU-SILC.
Preliminary results indicate that it is the totality of social protection that is important rather than individual policies. A sub-study regarding social rights and health among youth highlight also the importance of active and passive labour market policy in the 16 included countries.
In sum our diverse approach to analysing welfare state efforts and their links to health inequalities suggest that there is a clear relationship between more ambitious policies and smaller inequalities in health. These results are discussed in relation to previous findings.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no Suppl. 1
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98619DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt126.167OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98619DiVA: diva2:684641
6th European Public Health Conference, 13-16 November 2013