IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Causes of mortality and development: Evidence from large health shocks in 20th century America

  • Casper Worm Hansen


    (Aarhus University)

Exploiting pre-intervention variation in flu/pneumonia, tuberculosis and maternal mortality, together with time variation arising from medical breakthroughs starting in the late 1930s, this paper studies the aggregate impact of large health shocks across US states. The analysis demonstrates that the shocks influenced income per capita in different ways. While the shock to flu/pneumonia mortality has been conductive for development, the large reduction in the incidence of tuberculosis deaths has been a negative force in the development of US states over the second-half of 20th century. In addition, the decline in maternal mortality has a fragile, but positive relationship with income per capita. Because these specific health shocks affected mortality across the life cycle differently, the evidence here underscores the general tenet of regarding health as multifaceted.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2012-29.

in new window

Length: 26
Date of creation: 07 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2012-29
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Kimberly V. Smith, 2010. "Modern Medicine and the Twentieth Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 118-46, April.
  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. Stefania Albanesi & Claudia Olivetti, 2013. "Maternal Health and the Baby Boom," Working Papers 2013-003, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  4. Philippe Aghion, 2010. "The relationship between health and growth: when Lucas meets Nelson-Phelps," Working Papers 434, Bruegel.
  5. Omar Licandro & David de la Croix, 2009. "The Child is Father of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 765.09, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  6. Lorentzen, Peter L. & McMillan, John & Wacziarg, Romain, 2005. "Death and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 5246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Health, Human Capital, and Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 283-310, 09.
  8. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I just ran four million regressions," Economics Working Papers 201, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & Fabrice Murtin, 2010. "The Relationship Between Health and Growth: When Lucas Meets Nelson-Phelps," NBER Working Papers 15813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "Mortality Reductions, Educational Attainment, and Fertility Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 580-601, June.
  12. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Gunther Fink, 2009. "Disease and Development Revisited," PGDA Working Papers 4409, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  13. Jie Zhang & Junsen Zhang, 2005. "The Effect of Life Expectancy on Fertility, Saving, Schooling and Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 45-66, 03.
  14. Kevin M. Murphy & Curtis Simon & Robert Tamura, 2008. "Fertility Decline, Baby Boom, and Economic Growth," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 262-302.
  15. Hoyt Bleakley, 2007. "Disease and Development: Evidence from Hookworm Eradication in the American South," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 73-117, 02.
  16. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Human Capital Formation, Life Expectancy, and the Process of Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1653-1672, December.
  17. Hazan, Moshe, 2011. "Life Expectancy and Schooling: New Insights from Cross-Country Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 8524, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Seema Jayachandran & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2009. "Life Expectancy and Human Capital Investments: Evidence from Maternal Mortality Declines-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 349-397, February.
  19. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
  20. Chad Turner & Robert Tamura & Sean Mulholland & Scott Baier, 2007. "Education and income of the states of the United States: 1840–2000," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 101-158, June.
  21. Hoyt Bleakley & Fabian Lange, 2009. "Chronic Disease Burden and the Interaction of Education, Fertility, and Growth," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(1), pages 52-65, February.
  22. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Ashley Lester & David N. Weil, 2008. "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," NBER Working Papers 14449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Herzer, Dierk & Strulik, Holger & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2010. "The Long-run Determinants of Fertility: One Century of Demographic Change 1900-1999," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-456, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  24. Robert Tamura, 2004. "Human capital and economic development," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-34, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  25. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Disease and development: The role of life expectancy reconsidered," Munich Reprints in Economics 20079, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:aah:aarhec:2012-29. 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: ()

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.