The Interaction of Health, Labour Market Conditions, and Long-Term Sickness Benefit Claims in a Post-Industrial City: A Glasgow Case Study

Webster, D. , Brown, J. , Macdonald, E. and Turok, I. (2013) The Interaction of Health, Labour Market Conditions, and Long-Term Sickness Benefit Claims in a Post-Industrial City: A Glasgow Case Study. In: Lindsay, C. and Houston, D. (eds.) Disability Benefits, Welfare Reform and Employment Policy. Series: Work and Welfare in Europe. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, Hampshire, pp. 111-133. ISBN 9780230349940

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An earlier paper by Webster et al. (Policy Studies, 31:2, March 2010) analysed the reasons for the high level of Incapacity Benefit claims in Glasgow and for their rapid fall in 2003-08. However it was not able to consider good evidence on population health. This new paper fills this gap by bringing in data for Glasgow and the rest of Scotland from the Scottish Health Surveys of 1995, 1998, 2003 and 2008/2009, taking advantage of the large available samples for Glasgow. The paper continues to support the view that worse labour market conditions in Glasgow have been substantially responsible for the higher level of long-term sickness benefit claims in the city, and that improving labour market conditions were substantially responsible for their large fall in 2003-2008. Benefit administration also clearly plays a role. However, the paper also demonstrates that Glasgow’s higher level of claims reflects worse working age population health, and, for the first time, that health improved in 2003-2008 in parallel with the fall in claims. It therefore seems likely that worse health constitutes a partial explanation for the high level of claims in Glasgow, and that improving health, perhaps due at least in part to a cohort effect, partly explains the large fall in 2003-2008.

Item Type:Book Sections (Other)
Keywords:Incapacity Benefit; sickness benefits; unemployment; health and employment; disguised unemployment; deindustrialisation; Glasgow; Scottish Health Survey
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:MacDonald, Professor Ewan and Brown, Dr Judith and Turok, Professor Ivan and Webster, Dr David
Authors: Webster, D., Brown, J., Macdonald, E., and Turok, I.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Research Group:Scottish Observatory for Work and Health
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holders:David Webster, Judith Brown, Ewan Macdonald, Ivan Turok
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