Life course impacts of health status on social and economic outcomes and transitions

Loughborough University

  • Led by Loughborough University
  • Project to identify how variations in the mental and physical health of individuals shape their social and economic outcomes
  • Will identify and analyse longitudinal data in order to establish and measure the impact of changes in health status, and provide insight for policy-makers
  • The project will run for 24 months from May 2018.​

This research project led by the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, and involving colleagues from the School of Business and Economics and School of Social Sciences, will look to develop an understanding of how variations in the mental and physical health of individuals cause different social and economic outcomes.

It will involve analysing longitudinal data; in particular looking at the impact of variations in changes in health status of individuals, and how the health status of their household and peers has an effect on their outcomes.

There is significant literature on how the social determinants of health can be influenced by social and economic policies. What is less well understood is the reverse relationship: the impact health status has on socio-economic factors, both for individuals and other household members – which is what this project will look to address.

Social determinants of health to be analysed will include indicators of income and employment, financial situation, social connection, and personal relationships.

The project team will identify relevant data on the key inputs of health and socio-economic outcomes. These will include data from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Survey.

The data to be used involve repeated measurement of variables for the same individuals over time. This will allow the project team to analyse the causal role that changes in health status over time have on different ages and across household peers.

Qualitative focus groups will be used to explore the relationships revealed in the quantitative work, such as what it is about someone’s health that promotes social capital and engagement, or acts as a barrier.

The results will help to define how health status manifests itself in individual lives and their socio-economic circumstances. This will provide valuable context for health, social and economic policymakers.

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Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Paul Downward, Professor of Economics, Loughborough University.

Further reading

Quick guide

What makes us healthy?

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the health and social care system.

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