Does debt affect health? : Cross country evidence on the debt-health nexus
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We investigate the relationship between aggregate household debt and aggregate health outcomes across 17 European countries over the period 1995 to 2012. Using a dataset of country-level standardized and objective measures of household debt, health outcomes and a rich set of control variables, we estimate an instrumental variable (GMM) model to address possible reverse causality concerns. We find that aggregate household debt affects health outcomes, and that this varies by the maturity of debt. Both short and medium-term debt has a positive effect on health outcomes. Long-term unsecured debt and mortgage debt are associated with poorer health outcomes. These findings are robust after controlling for alternative measures of health and debt. Overall, the results suggest that aggregate household debt is an important determinant of aggregate health outcomes across countries.
Clayton , M , Liñares-Zegarra , J & Wilson , J O S 2015 , ' Does debt affect health? Cross country evidence on the debt-health nexus ' , Social Science and Medicine , vol. 130 , pp. 51-58 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.002
Social Science and Medicine
© 2015. Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Social Science and Medicine. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Social Science & Medicine, 130, April 2015 DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.02.002
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