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Life expectancy and economic development: Evidence from microdata

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  • Belgi Turan

Abstract

This study examines the effect of life expectancy on fertility, education, and labor force participation. Using birth and sibling histories from the Demographic Health Surveys conducted in sub‐Saharan Africa, I construct a time series of age‐specific birth rates and mortality rates at the country‐region level. I use these data to test the implications of a general equilibrium model linking life expectancy to fertility, human capital, and labor supply. My results suggest that increases in life expectancy reduce fertility, increase education, and increase labor force participation. Overall, my empirical results suggest that in sub‐Saharan Africa, increases in life expectancy will have a positive impact on growth through fertility, education, and labor supply but that the effect will be small. My results also rule out the possibility that recent shocks to adult mortality in high HIV prevalence countries will reduce fertility, increase labor productivity, and lead to faster growth.

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  • Belgi Turan, 2020. "Life expectancy and economic development: Evidence from microdata," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 949-972, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:24:y:2020:i:3:p:949-972
    DOI: 10.1111/rode.12665
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    6. Amandeep Singh & Kuldeep Kumar & Jasneet Kaur Wadhwa & Arun Palakkandy, 2020. "Effect of Life Expectancy on Technological Development," Technium Social Sciences Journal, Technium Science, vol. 5(1), pages 225-237, March.

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