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A theory of medicine effectiveness, differential mortality, income inequality and growth for pre-industrial England

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  • DE LA CROIX, David
  • SOMMACAL, Alessandro

Abstract

We study how mortality reductins and income growth interact, looking at their relationship prior to the Industrial Revolution, when income per capita was stagnant. We first present a model of individual medical spending giving a rationale for individual health expenditures even when medicine was not effective in postponing death. We then explain the rise of effective medicine by a learning process function of expenditures in health. The rise in effective medicine can then be linked to the take-off of the eighteenth century through life expectancy increases, and fostered capital accumulation. The rise of effective medicine has also an impact on the relation between growth and inequality and on the intergenerational persistence of differences in income. These channels are operative through differential mortality induced by medicine effectiveness that turns out to determines a differential in the propensity to save among income groups.

Suggested Citation

  • DE LA CROIX, David & SOMMACAL, Alessandro, 2006. "A theory of medicine effectiveness, differential mortality, income inequality and growth for pre-industrial England," CORE Discussion Papers 2006045, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006045
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mariani, Fabio & Pérez-Barahona, Agustín & Raffin, Natacha, 2010. "Life expectancy and the environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 798-815.
    2. David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2013. "The Child is Father Of the Man: Implications for the Demographic Transition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(567), pages 236-261, March.
    3. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "The Public Economics of Increasing Longevity," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 200(1), pages 41-74, March.
    4. David de la Croix, 2010. "Adult Longevity and Economic Take-off from Malthus to Ben-Porath," Chapters,in: Institutional and Social Dynamics of Growth and Distribution, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    differential mortality; life expectancy; propensity to save; health expenditures.;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • N33 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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