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The pace and distribution of health improvements during the last 40 years: some preliminary results

Author

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  • Giovanni Cornia

    (University of Florence)

  • Leonardo Menchini

    (University of Florence)

Abstract

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Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni Cornia & Leonardo Menchini, 2004. "The pace and distribution of health improvements during the last 40 years: some preliminary results," Development Working Papers 194, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:194
    Note: This paper juxtaposes changes over the last forty years in income growth and distribution with the mortality changes recorded at the aggregate level in about 170 countries and at the individual level in 21 countries with at least two Demographic and Health Surveys covering the last twenty years. Over the 1980s-and 1990s, the infant-mortality rate (IMR), under-5 mortality rate (U5MR) and Life Expectancy at Birth (LEB) mostly continued the favourable trends that characterized the 1960s and 1970s. Yet, especially, the 1990s the pace of health improvement was slower than that recorded during the prior decades. In addition, the distribution between countries of aggregate health improvements became markedly more skewed. These trends are in part explained by the negative changes recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe, but are robust to the removal of the two regions from the sample. This tendency is observed also at the intra-regional level, with the exception of Western Europe. Thirdly, DHS data for 21 developing countries point to a frequent divergence over time in the within-country distribution of gains in IMR and U5MR among children living in urban vs. rural areas and belonging to families part of different quantiles of the asset distribution, while IMR differentials by level of education of the mother show mixed trends The paper concludes by underscoring the similarities and linkages between changes in income inequality and health inequality and suggests some tentative explanations of these trends without, however, formally testing them.
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    File URL: http://www.dagliano.unimi.it/media/WP2004_194.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles KENNY, 2008. "What's Not Converging? East Asia's Relative Performance in Income, Health, and Education," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 3(1), pages 19-37.
    2. Delfin Go & Denis Nikitin & Xiongjian Wang & Heng-fu Zou, 2007. "Poverty and Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa: Literature Survey and Empirical Assessment," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 8(2), pages 251-304, November.
    3. Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Christopher GRIGORIOU, 2008. "Child Mortality Reacts to Relative Prices," Working Papers 200814, CERDI.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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