Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Poster Paper: Is over-Indebtedness a Predictor of Disability Pension? Evidence from a 15-Year Follow-up of Finnish Men and Women

Saturday, November 14, 2015
Riverfront South/Central (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki
Background: As consequence of economic recessions over-indebtedness has emerged as a new social risk in OECD countries but its associations with health and disability are poorly understood. This is the first study using longitudinal register-based data to estimate associations of over-indebtedness with long-term work disability.

Methods: Severely over-indebted men and women were identified from the Finnish credit information register. For each over-indebted person, one matched control was retrieved from the population register (total N 54 494). Register data on socio-demographics, health-related factors and pensions was used to analyse the incidence of new disability pensions by main diagnostic groups in 1995–2009 using Cox regression analysis.

Results: Over-indebtedness was strongly associated with the risk of entering disability pensions in all diagnostic groups examined. The associations were stronger among women than among men.

Conclusions: Adverse consequences of over-indebtedness on health and disability should be acknowledged. Policy makers should take up measures to prevent over-indebtedness and to overcome its harmful effects.