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Death and Development

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  • Lorentzen, Peter L.
  • McMillan, John
  • Wacziarg, Romain

Abstract

Analyzing a variety of cross-national and sub-national data, we argue that high adult mortality reduces economic growth by shortening time horizons. Higher adult mortality is associated with increased levels of risky behaviour, higher fertility, and lower investment in physical and human capital. Furthermore, the feedback effect from economic prosperity to better health care implies that mortality could be the source of a poverty trap. In our regressions, adult mortality explains almost all of Africa's growth tragedy. Our analysis also underscores grim forecasts of the long-run economic costs of the ongoing AIDS epidemic.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5246.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5246

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Keywords: fertility; growth; human capital; investment; mortality;

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