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Life expectancy and human capital: Evidence from the international epidemiological transition

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  • Hansen, Casper Worm

Abstract

Exploiting preintervention variation in mortality from various infectious diseases, together with the time variation arising from medical breakthroughs in the late 1940s and the 1950s, this study examines how a large positive shock to life expectancy influenced the formation of human capital within countries during the second half of the 20th century. The results establish that the rise in life expectancy was behind a significant part of the increase in human capital over this period. According to the baseline estimate, for one additional year of life expectancy, years of schooling increase by 0.17 year. Moreover, the evidence suggests that declines in pneumonia mortality are the underlying cause of this finding, indicating that improved childhood health increases human capital investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansen, Casper Worm, 2013. "Life expectancy and human capital: Evidence from the international epidemiological transition," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1142-1152.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:32:y:2013:i:6:p:1142-1152
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2013.09.011
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:joecag:v:7:y:2016:i:c:p:125-142 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hansen, Casper Worm, 2014. "Cause of death and development in the US," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 143-153.
    3. Hoque,Mohammad Mainul & King,Elizabeth M. & Montenegro,Claudio E. & Orazem,Peter F., 2017. "Longevity and lifetime education : global evidence from 919 surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8175, The World Bank.
    4. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2014. "Elite education, mass education, and the transition to modern growth," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 205, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    5. repec:kap:ecopln:v:50:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10644-016-9191-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Casper Worm Hansen & Lars Lønstrup, 2015. "The Rise in Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(584), pages 838-852, May.
    7. Casper Worm Hansen & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Peter Egedesø Madsen, 2017. "Preventing the White Death: Tuberculosis Dispensaries," Discussion Papers 17-19, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    8. Victoria Baranov & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2018. "The Impact of AIDS Treatment on Savings and Human Capital Investment in Malawi," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 266-306, January.
    9. Karine Constant & Natacha Raffin, 2016. "Environnement, croissance et inégalités : le rôle particulier du canal de la santé," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 9-29.
    10. Karine Constant, 2015. "Environmental Policy and Inequality: A Matter of Life and Death," Working Papers halshs-01174052, HAL.
    11. Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Life expectancy and education: evidence from the cardiovascular revolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 421-450, December.
    12. Casper Worm Hansen & Peter Sandholt Jensen & Peter Egedesø Madsen, 2016. "Information and Disease Prevention: Tuberculosis Dispensaries," Discussion Papers 16-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    13. von Gaessler, Anne Edle & Ziesemer, Thomas, 2016. "Optimal education in times of ageing: The dependency ratio in the Uzawa–Lucas growth model," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 125-142.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Life expectancy; Health shock; Cohort schooling data; Economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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