IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Health and Poverty of Nations: From theory to practice

  • David Bloom
  • David Canning

Health is both a direct component of human well-being and a form of human capital that increases an individual's capabilities. We argue that these two views are complementary and that both can be used to justify increased investment in health in developing countries. In particular, we argue that the large effect improved health has on household incomes and economic growth makes it an important tool for poverty reduction. We survey the literature on the link between improvements in health and improved economic growth at the national level and also the link between improvements in health and improved productivity and wages at the household level. The theoretical arguments and related empirical evidence demonstrate a large effect of health improvements on productivity, household incomes, and economic growth. Given the large payoffs to health that exist in developing countries, we assess how health can be improved. We also argue that the income gains that result from health interventions can potentially feed back into better health in a process of cumulative causality, suggesting a fundamentally new rationale for greater spending on health in developing countries. In addition, we contend that, for health sector policies to be successful, there needs to be deep institutional change at the international, national, and local levels that puts greater emphasis on the health sector, and in particular that focuses on the health needs the poor themselves identify as important. The HIV/ AIDS epidemic represents the major challenge for health in many developing countries today. We use this as a test case showing how successful health interventions require not just increased spending, but also a profound commitment to change by all sectors of society.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1464988032000051487
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

Volume (Year): 4 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 47-71

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:4:y:2003:i:1:p:47-71
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/CJHD20

Order Information: Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/CJHD20

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:4:y:2003:i:1:p:47-71. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.