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
Date Written: January 15, 2015
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: Suggested Citation