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Death, Tetanus and Aerobics: The Evaluation of Disease-Specific Health Interventions

  • Holmes, Jessica
  • Philipson, Tomas
  • Sala-i-Martin, Xavier
  • Tahvonen, Olli

This paper provides a theoretical and empirical investigation of the positive complementarities between disease-specific policies introduced by competing risks of mortality. The incentive to invest in prevention against one cause of death depends positively on the level of survival from other causes. This means that a specific public health intervention has benefits other than the direct medical reduction in mortality: it affects the incentives to fight other diseases so the overall reduction in mortality will, in general, be larger than that predicted by the direct medical effects. We discuss evidence of these cross-disease effects by using data on neonatal tetanus vaccination through the Expanded Programme on Immunization of the World Health Organization.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1283.

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Date of creation: Nov 1995
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1283
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  1. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  2. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1984. "Heterogeneity, Intrafamily Distribution and Child Health," Bulletins 8429, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  3. Philipson, Tomas, 1995. "The welfare loss of disease and the theory of taxation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 387-395, August.
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