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Does inequality in health impede economic growth?


  • Michael Grimm


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, reducing inequality in the access to health care and to health-related information can make a substantial contribution to economic growth. Copyright 2011 Oxford University Press 2011 All rights reserved, Oxford University Press.

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  • Michael Grimm, 2011. "Does inequality in health impede economic growth?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 448-474, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:63:y:2011:i:3:p:448-474

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2013. "A Cross-country Causal Panorama of Human Development and Sustainability," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 235-251, May.
    2. repec:rsr:journl:v:65:y:2017:i:2:p:21-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Narayan, Ambar & Saavedra-Chanduvi, Jaime & Tiwari, Sailesh, 2013. "Shared prosperity : links to growth, inequality and inequality of opportunity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6649, The World Bank.
    4. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2011. "A Causal Panorama of Cross-Country Human Development," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_049, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.

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