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Health and Economic Growth: Reconciling the Micro and Macro Evidence

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  • David E. Bloom
  • David Canning
  • Rainer Kotschy
  • Klaus Prettner
  • Johannes Schünemann
  • Rainer Franz Kotschy

Abstract

Economists use micro-based and macro-based approaches to assess the macroeconomic return to population health. The macro-based approach tends to yield estimates that are either negative and close to zero or positive and an order of magnitude larger than the range of estimates derived from the micro-based approach. This presents a micro-macro puzzle regarding the macroeconomic return to health. We reconcile the two approaches by controlling for the indirect effects of health, which macro-based approaches usually include but micro-based approaches deliberately omit when isolating the direct effect of health. Our results show that the macroeconomic return to health lies in the range of plausible microeconomic estimates, demonstrating that both approaches are in fact consistent with one another.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & David Canning & Rainer Kotschy & Klaus Prettner & Johannes Schünemann & Rainer Franz Kotschy, 2022. "Health and Economic Growth: Reconciling the Micro and Macro Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 9806, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_9806
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    Keywords

    productivity; population health; human capital; economic development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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