Knowing the goal: an inclusive economy that can address the public health challenges of our time

Deborah Shipton, Shifa Sarica, Neil Craig, Gerry McCartney, Srinivasa Vittal Katikireddi, Graeme Roy, Peter McGregor, Graeme Scobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Inequality is deeply embedded in our economic structures - it is necessary to address these economic inequalities if we are to reduce health inequalities. An inclusive economic approach was conceptualised as a way to reduce these economic inequalities, although the attributes of this approach are unclear. Public health practitioners are increasingly asked to provide a health perspective on the economic recovery plans in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper aims to identify the attributes of an inclusive economy to enable the public health profession to influence an inclusive economic recovery. Approach: We conducted a rapid review of grey and peer-reviewed literature to identify the attributes of an inclusive economy as currently defined in the literature. Attributes of an inclusive economy: Twenty-two concepts were identified from 56 reports and articles. These were collapsed into four distinct attributes of an inclusive economy: (1) an economy that is designed to deliver inclusion and equity, (2) equitable distribution of the benefits from the economy (eg, assets, power, value), (3) equitable access to the resources needed to participate in the economy (eg, health, education), and (4) the economy operates within planetary boundaries. Conclusion: As economies are (re)built following the COVID-19 pandemic, these attributes of an inclusive economy - based on the current literature - can be used to develop, and then monitor progress of, economic policy that will reduce health inequalities, improve health and mitigate against climate change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number216070
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021


  • economics
  • health policy
  • inequalities
  • policy
  • public health


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