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Does inequality in health impede growth?

  • Grimm, M.

This paper investigates the effects of inequality in health on economic growth in low and middle income countries. The empirical part of the paper uses an original cross-national panel data set covering 62 low and middle income countries over the period 1985 to 2007. I find a substantial and relatively robust negative effect of health inequality on income levels and income growth controlling for life expectancy, country and time fixed-effects and a large number of other effects that have been shown to matter for growth. The effect also holds if health inequality is instrumented to circumvent a potential problem of reverse causality. Hence, increasing access to health care for the poor can make a substantial contribution to economic growth not only through its effect on life expectancy but also through its effect on reduced health inequality.

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Paper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague in its series ISS Working Papers - General Series with number 19426.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:19426
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  10. van Doorslaer, Eddy & Wagstaff, Adam & Bleichrodt, Han & Calonge, Samuel & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gerfin, Michael & Geurts, Jose & Gross, Lorna & Hakkinen, Unto & Leu, Robert E., 1997. "Income-related inequalities in health: some international comparisons," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 93-112, February.
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  12. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2003. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1091-1113, September.
  13. Thomas, D. & Strauss, J., 1997. "Health and Wages: Evidence on Men and Women in Urban Brazil," Papers 97-05, RAND - Reprint Series.
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  17. Croppenstedt, Andre & Muller, Christophe, 2000. "The Impact of Farmers' Health and Nutritional Status on Their Productivity and Efficiency: Evidence from Ethiopia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(3), pages 475-502, April.
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  21. Schultz, T. Paul & Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Wage and labor supply effects of illness in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana: instrumental variable estimates for days disabled," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 251-286, August.
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  23. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Ryder, Harl E. & Weil, David N., 2000. "Mortality decline, human capital investment, and economic growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 1-23, June.
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  25. Haddad, L. & Bouis, H.E., 1989. "The Impact of Nutritional Status on Agricultural Productivity: Wage Evidence from the Philippines," Papers 97, Warwick - Development Economics Research Centre.
  26. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  27. T. Paul Schultz, 2004. "Wage Rentals for Reproducible Human Capital: Evidence from Ghana and the Ivory Coast," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm420, Yale School of Management.
  28. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, 04.
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