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Does inequality in health impede growth?

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  • Grimm, M.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of inequality in health on economic growth in low and middle income countries. The empirical part of the paper uses an original cross-national panel data set covering 62 low and middle income countries over the period 1985 to 2007. I find a substantial and relatively robust negative effect of health inequality on income levels and income growth controlling for life expectancy, country and time fixed-effects and a large number of other effects that have been shown to matter for growth. The effect also holds if health inequality is instrumented to circumvent a potential problem of reverse causality. Hence, increasing access to health care for the poor can make a substantial contribution to economic growth not only through its effect on life expectancy but also through its effect on reduced health inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague in its series ISS Working Papers - General Series with number 501.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:19426

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Keywords: economic growth; health gradient; health inequality;

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