• Led by Loughborough University.
  • Project aimed to identify how variations in the mental and physical health of individuals influence their social and economic outcomes.
  • The work identified and analysed longitudinal data to establish and measure the impact of changes in health status, which has provided insight for policymakers.
  • The project began in May 2018.

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

It involved analysing longitudinal data to look at the impact of variations in changes in health status of individuals, and how the health status of their household and peers affected   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 looked to address.

Social determinants of health which were analysed include indicators of income and employment, financial situation, social connection, and personal relationships.

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

The data was used to enable repeated measurement of variables for the same individuals over time. This allowed 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 have also been 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 findings from this project have now been published and will help to define how health status manifests itself in individual lives contextualised by their socio-economic circumstances. This work provides 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.

Learn more

Health, subjective financial situation and well-being: a longitudinal observational study

The effect of health on social capital; a longitudinal observation study of the UK

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