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Health, Economic Development, and Poverty in Developing Countries

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    This paper investigates the impact of health on the extent of poverty and on economic development in developing countries. Based on data from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme and using a sample of seventy-nine developing economies, we find that the fraction of the population below the poverty line is linearly dependent upon the GDP growth rate, the share of income or consumption by the lowest quintile of the population, and male life expectancy at birth used as a proxy for the possible effect of improved health. Using another sample of sixty-two developing countries, we find that purchasing power parity per capita income linearly depends on the total fertility rate, labor force participation, child illness and malnutrition, gross capital formation, and access to natural resources and the global economy as proxied by per capita arable and permanent cropland and by external balance of goods and services as a percentage of GDP. Statistical results of such empirical examination will assist governments in developing countries identify health care areas that need to be improved upon in order to alleviate poverty and foster economic development.

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    Article provided by Camera di Commercio di Genova in its journal Economia Internazionale / International Economics.

    Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 163-174

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    Handle: RePEc:ris:ecoint:0008
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    1. David E. BLOOM & Jocelyn E. FINLAY, 2009. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 4(1), pages 45-64.
    2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
    3. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2004. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
    4. Bhargava, Alok & Jamison, Dean T. & Lau, Lawrence J. & Murray, Christopher J. L., 2001. "Modeling the effects of health on economic growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 423-440, May.
    5. David Bloom & David Canning, 2003. "The Health and Poverty of Nations: From theory to practice," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 47-71.
    6. Don Webber, 2002. "Policies to stimulate growth: should we invest in health or education?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(13), pages 1633-1643.
    7. Knowles, Stephen & Owen, P Dorian, 1997. "Education and Health in an Effective-Labour Empirical Growth Model," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 73(223), pages 314-28, December.
    8. Robert William Fogel, 1990. "The Conquest of High Mortality and Hunger in Europe and America: Timing and Mechanisms," NBER Historical Working Papers 0016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
    10. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Pia N. Malaney, 1999. "Demographic Change and Economic Growth in Asia," CID Working Papers 15, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    11. Arora, Suchit, 2001. "Health, Human Productivity, And Long-Term Economic Growth," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 61(03), pages 699-749, September.
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