Year: 2020 Source: London, UK: Institute for Fiscal Studies. (2020). 7 p. SIEC No: 20200338

The current lockdown and social distancing measures brought about by the coronavirus crisis, coupled with the direct effects of the virus on workers and firms, are having a huge impact on economies in the UK and around the world. Existing literature on the health impacts of business-cycle fluctuations and recessions shows that the resulting economic downturn will have significant consequences on people’s health outcomes in the short and longer term. A debate has started on whether the adverse health effects of a recession may be greater than the increased morbidity and mortality within the pandemic itself. This briefing note discusses some of the mechanisms through which shocks to macroeconomic conditions may affect health.