New Paper on the Impact of Savings & Credit on Health

SHINE researchers, Piotr Bialowolski, Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, along with Tyler J. Vanderweele, of the Human Flourishing Program published a paper on the results of a study on the impact of savings and credit on health and health behaviors.  The study is published in the International Journal of Public Health.This study evaluated decisions related to debt and savings on physical health, emotional health and health behaviours and used longitudinal data from the Polish biennial household panel—Social Diagnosis Survey.

The researchers found evidence of a link between credit/savings and health/health behaviors.

Some of the findings include:

  • Debt proved a significant stressor, affecting three of five physical health measures.
  • Over-indebted individuals suffered even more in terms of physical health outcomes.
  • The role of savings in physical health was much less significant, yet had significant bearing on measures of emotional health.
  • In terms of emotional health, debt (over-indebtedness inparticular) influenced loneliness and increased suicidal thoughts.
  • With respect to health behaviours, savings appeared significant in reducing smoking and increasing uptake of sport activities, while debt had no significant effect in these areas.

The study made recommendations on how to foster saving activity and develop institutional solutions for over-indebtedness.

You can find the full paper at this link.