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Death, tetanus, and aerobics: The evaluation of disease-specific health interventions

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  • William H. Dow
  • Jessica Holmes
  • Tomas Philipson
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

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Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical investigation of the positive complementarities between disease-specific policies introduced by competing risks of mortality. The incentive to invest in prevention against one cause of death depends positively on the level of survival from other causes. This means that a specific public health intervention has benefits other than the direct medical reduction in mortality: it affects the incentives to fight other diseases so the overall reduction in mortality will, in general, be larger than that predicted by the direct medical effects. We discuss evidence of these cross-disease effects by using data on neonatal tetanus vaccination through the Expanded Programme on Immunization of the World Health Organization.

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File URL: http://www.econ.upf.edu/docs/papers/downloads/124.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in its series Economics Working Papers with number 124.

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Date of creation: Jul 1995
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Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:124

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Web page: http://www.econ.upf.edu/

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  1. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  2. Philipson, Tomas, 1995. "The welfare loss of disease and the theory of taxation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 387-395, August.
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