The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills

Professor David Stuckler (University of Oxford).

The global financial crisis has had a seismic impact upon the wealth of nations. But we have little sense of how it affects one of the most fundamental issues of all: our physical and mental health. This lecture will look at the daily lives of people affected by financial crisis, from the Great Depression of the 1930s, to post-communist Russia, to the US foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s. It will present a radical proposition: austerity is seriously bad for your health.

We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community's health and its social protection systems. Now and for generations to come, our commitment to the building of fairer, more equal societies will determine the health of our body economic.

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