The Economic Crisis and Medical Care Use: Comparative Evidence from Five High-Income Countries

Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center Working Paper No. 2015-3

17 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2015

See all articles by Annamaria Lusardi

Annamaria Lusardi

Stanford University - Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Daniel Schneider

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology

Peter Tufano

Harvard Business School; University of Oxford, Said Business School

Date Written: January 15, 2015

Abstract

We examine how the economic crisis has affected individuals’ use of routine medical care and assess the extent to which the impact varies depending on national context. Data from a new cross-national survey fielded in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany are used to estimate the effects of employment and wealth shocks and financial fragility on the use of routine care. We document reductions in individuals’ use of routine non-emergency medical care in the midst of the economic crisis. Americans reduced care more than individuals in Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany. At the national level, reductions in care are related to the degree to which individuals must pay for it, and within countries, reductions are linked to shocks to wealth and employment and to financial fragility. The economic crisis has led to reductions in the use of routine medical care and systems of national insurance provide some protection against these effects.

Keywords: wealth losses, unemployment, routine medical care

JEL Classification: G01

Suggested Citation

Lusardi, Annamaria and Schneider, Daniel and Tufano, Peter, The Economic Crisis and Medical Care Use: Comparative Evidence from Five High-Income Countries (January 15, 2015). Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center Working Paper No. 2015-3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2585244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2585244

Annamaria Lusardi (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research ( email )

366 Galvez Street
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building
Stanford, CA CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://siepr.stanford.edu/people/annamaria-lusardi

Daniel Schneider

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Sociology ( email )

410 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Peter Tufano

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan Hall 131
Boston, MA 02163
United States

University of Oxford, Said Business School

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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