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The financial crisis, health and health inequities in Europe: the need for regulations, redistribution and social protection.

De Vogli R - Int J Equity Health (2014)

Bottom Line: Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession.Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides.Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs.These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave, Med Sci 1-C Build, Davis 95616, CA, USA. r.devogli@ucl.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
In 2009, Europe was hit by one of the worst debt crises in history. Although the Eurozone crisis is often depicted as an effect of government mismanagement and corruption, it was a consequence of the 2008 U.S. banking crisis which was caused by more than three decades of neoliberal policies, financial deregulation and widening economic inequities.Evidence indicates that the Eurozone crisis disproportionately affected vulnerable populations in society and caused sharp increases of suicides and deaths due to mental and behavioral disorders especially among those who lost their jobs, houses and economic activities because of the crisis. Although little research has, so far, studied the effects of the crisis on health inequities, evidence showed that the 2009 economic downturn increased the number of people living in poverty and widened income inequality especially in European countries severely hit by the debt crisis. Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession. Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides.Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs. These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis. In order to prevent a future financial downturn and promote a more equitable and sustainable society, European governments and international institutions need to adopt new regulations of banking and finance as well as policies of economic redistribution and investment in social protection. These policy changes, however, require the abandonment of the neoliberal ideology to craft a new global political economy where markets and gross domestic product (GDP) are no longer the main national policy goals, but just means to human and health improvements.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

From the Great Depression to the Great Recession: Index of Capital Mobility and Number of Banking Crises in 69 Countries, 1900–2010.
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Figure 1: From the Great Depression to the Great Recession: Index of Capital Mobility and Number of Banking Crises in 69 Countries, 1900–2010.

Mentions: Figure 1 shows temporal trends (1900–2010) in the frequency of banking crises and an index of international capital mobility in 69 countries [[7]]. As for the 1929 Great Depression, the 2008 Great Recession was anticipated by a rapid rise of global capital flow [[7]] and deregulation of financial markets [[8]]. It also shows that the frequency of banking crises was very low during the post-war period (1945–1971), a time influenced by the New Deal in the U.S. and capital controls and regulations of the Bretton Woods System worldwide. The progressive elimination of these regulations since the 1970s, triggered by the rise of neoliberal ideology, however, coincided with a rapid rise of banking crises in the 1980s and 1990s and created the circumstances for the 2008 global financial crash.


The financial crisis, health and health inequities in Europe: the need for regulations, redistribution and social protection.

De Vogli R - Int J Equity Health (2014)

From the Great Depression to the Great Recession: Index of Capital Mobility and Number of Banking Crises in 69 Countries, 1900–2010.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4222559&req=5

Figure 1: From the Great Depression to the Great Recession: Index of Capital Mobility and Number of Banking Crises in 69 Countries, 1900–2010.
Mentions: Figure 1 shows temporal trends (1900–2010) in the frequency of banking crises and an index of international capital mobility in 69 countries [[7]]. As for the 1929 Great Depression, the 2008 Great Recession was anticipated by a rapid rise of global capital flow [[7]] and deregulation of financial markets [[8]]. It also shows that the frequency of banking crises was very low during the post-war period (1945–1971), a time influenced by the New Deal in the U.S. and capital controls and regulations of the Bretton Woods System worldwide. The progressive elimination of these regulations since the 1970s, triggered by the rise of neoliberal ideology, however, coincided with a rapid rise of banking crises in the 1980s and 1990s and created the circumstances for the 2008 global financial crash.

Bottom Line: Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession.Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides.Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs.These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave, Med Sci 1-C Build, Davis 95616, CA, USA. r.devogli@ucl.ac.uk.

ABSTRACT
In 2009, Europe was hit by one of the worst debt crises in history. Although the Eurozone crisis is often depicted as an effect of government mismanagement and corruption, it was a consequence of the 2008 U.S. banking crisis which was caused by more than three decades of neoliberal policies, financial deregulation and widening economic inequities.Evidence indicates that the Eurozone crisis disproportionately affected vulnerable populations in society and caused sharp increases of suicides and deaths due to mental and behavioral disorders especially among those who lost their jobs, houses and economic activities because of the crisis. Although little research has, so far, studied the effects of the crisis on health inequities, evidence showed that the 2009 economic downturn increased the number of people living in poverty and widened income inequality especially in European countries severely hit by the debt crisis. Data, however, also suggest favorable health trends and a reduction of traffic deaths fatalities in the general population during the economic recession. Moreover, egalitarian policies protecting the most disadvantaged populations with strong social protections proved to be effective in decoupling the link between job losses and suicides.Unfortunately, policy responses after the crisis in most European countries have mainly consisted in bank bailouts and austerity programs. These reforms have not only exacerbated the debt crisis and widened inequities in wealth but also failed to address the root causes of the crisis. In order to prevent a future financial downturn and promote a more equitable and sustainable society, European governments and international institutions need to adopt new regulations of banking and finance as well as policies of economic redistribution and investment in social protection. These policy changes, however, require the abandonment of the neoliberal ideology to craft a new global political economy where markets and gross domestic product (GDP) are no longer the main national policy goals, but just means to human and health improvements.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus