The causes of the causes: a systematic review of reviews of the impact of political economy on population health

McCartney, G., Hearty, W., Arnott, J., Popham, F. , Cumbers, A. and McMaster, R. (2018) The causes of the causes: a systematic review of reviews of the impact of political economy on population health. American Journal of Public Health, (Accepted for Publication)

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Abstract

Objectives: To systematically review the literature describing the impact of political economy on population health. Methods: We undertook a systematic review of reviews. The exposures were differences or changes in: policy, law or rules; economic conditions; institutions or social structures; politics, power or conflict. Relevant outcomes were any overall measure of population health. Research databases and the grey literature were searched, with included studies critically appraised and synthesised narratively. Results: From 4,912 citations, 58 reviews were included. Study quality was variable. Social democratic welfare states, higher public spending, fair trade policies, extensions to compulsory education provision, microfinance initiatives in low income countries, health and safety policy, improved access to healthcare, and high quality affordable housing have positive impacts on population health. Neoliberal restructuring seems to be associated with increased health inequalities and higher income inequality with lower self-rated health and higher mortality. Conclusions: Generally, countries with social democratic institutional arrangements, higher public spending, lower income inequalities and policy to ensure safe workplaces and access to education and housing have populations with better health.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Accepted for Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Popham, Dr Timothy and McMaster, Professor Robert and Hearty, Wendy and Cumbers, Professor Andrew and McCartney, Gerry
Authors: McCartney, G., Hearty, W., Arnott, J., Popham, F., Cumbers, A., and McMaster, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:American Journal of Public Health
Publisher:American Public Health Association
ISSN:0090-0036
ISSN (Online):1541-0048

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727651SPHSU Core Renewal: Measuring and Analysing Socioeconomic Inequalities in Health Research ProgrammeAlastair LeylandMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/13IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU