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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:19426
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  1. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Tom Vogl, 2008. "Socioeconomic Status and Health: Dimensions and Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 14333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. 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.
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  15. 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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  24. repec:cor:louvrp:-1676 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. van Kippersluis, Hans & Van Ourti, Tom & O'Donnell, Owen & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2009. "Health and income across the life cycle and generations in Europe," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 818-830, July.
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