The Scots may be Brave but They are Neither Healthy Nor Happy

David Bell, David Blanchflower

NBER Working Paper No. 11911
Issued in January 2006
NBER Program(s):Health Economics

On almost all measures of physical health, Scots fare worse than residents of any other region of the UK and often worse than the rest of Europe. Deaths from chronic liver disease and lung cancer are particularly prevalent in Scotland. The self-assessed wellbeing of Scots is lower than that of the English or Welsh, even after taking into account any differences in characteristics. Scots also suffer from higher levels of self-assessed depression or phobia, accidental death and suicide than those in other parts of Great Britain. This result is particularly driven by outcomes in Strathclyde and is consistent with the high scores for other measures of social deprivation in this area. On average, indicators of social capital in Scotland are no worse than in England or Wales. Detailed analysis within Scotland, however, shows that social capital indicators for the Strathclyde area are relatively low. We argue that these problems seem unlikely to be fixed by indirect policies aimed at raising economic growth.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11911

Published: Bell, David and David Blanchflower. ‘The Scots may be brave but they are neither healthy nor happy." Scottish Journal of Political Economy 54,2 (May 2007): 151-307. citation courtesy of

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