Our health: is it the economy, stupid? – with Torsten Bell and Diane Coyle

Episode 42,   Mar 25, 06:01 AM

What's happened to our economy and what does it mean for our health?

Many developed economies have been growing more slowly since around 2008, but the UK economy has been struggling more than most. Wages haven't risen since 2008 leaving the average worker £14,000 worse off. Productivity growth – vital to rising living standards – has stalled. Regional inequalities are unusually large, and economic hardship is widespread with 2.8 million people reporting not working because of long-term sickness.

So what’s driving this economic stagnation, how is it connected to our health, and what can politicians do to address the challenges?

To discuss, our Chief Executive Jennifer Dixon is joined by:

  • Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and Co-Director of the Bennett Institute.
  • Torsten Bell, Chief Executive of the Resolution Foundation.

Show notes

The Health Foundation (2023). The unsustainable is not sustained: why productivity is fundamental to the future of the NHS

The Resolution Foundation (2023). Ending stagnation: a new economic strategy for Britain

The Health Foundation (2023). What we know about the UK’s working-age health challenge.

Coyle D and Muhtar A (2022). Contemporary Social Science. Levelling up policies and the failure to learn.

Bennett Institute for Public Policy (2023). A Universal Basic Infrastructure for the UK

The Resolution Foundation (2024) (funded by the Health Foundation). We’ve only just begun: action to improve young people’s mental health, education and employment.