The Wealth, Health and Wellbeing of Ireland's Older People Before and During the Economic Crisis

11 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2013

See all articles by Alan Barrett

Alan Barrett

Economic and Social Research Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Vincent O'Sullivan

University College London

Abstract

The economic crisis of 2008/9 was felt more acutely in Ireland relative to elsewhere and culminated in the international bailout in 2010. Given the economic collapse, Ireland provides an ideal case-study of the link between wealth collapses and movements in variables such as health and well-being. Using nationally-representative samples of older people collected before and during the crisis, we show that mean net assets fell by 45 percent between 2006/7 and 2012/13. In spite of this massive fall in wealth, measures of health and well-being remained broadly unchanged. However, expectations about future living standards became less optimistic. The results tend to support the findings of other recent studies that recessions do not have widespread negative effects on health and well-being.

Keywords: recession, wealth, health, wellbeing

JEL Classification: D31, J14

Suggested Citation

Barrett, Alan M. and O'Sullivan, Vincent, The Wealth, Health and Wellbeing of Ireland's Older People Before and During the Economic Crisis. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7832. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2372541

Alan M. Barrett (Contact Author)

Economic and Social Research Institute ( email )

4 Burlington Road
Dublin 4
Republic of Ireland
+35 31 667 1525 (Phone)
+35 31 668 6231 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Vincent O'Sullivan

University College London

Gower Street
London
United Kingdom

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