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Disease and Development Revisited

  • David E. Bloom


    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • David Canning


    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Gunther Fink


    (Harvard School of Public Health)

In a recent paper, Acemoglu and Johnson (2007) argue that the large increases in population health witnessed in the 20th century may have lowered income levels. We argue that this result depends crucially on their assumption that initial health and income do not affect subsequent economic growth. Using their data we reject this assumption in favor of a model of conditional convergence, with income adjusting to its steady state over time. We show that, allowing for conditional convergence, exogenous improvements in health due to technical advances associated with the epidemiological transition appear to have increased income levels.

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Paper provided by Program on the Global Demography of Aging in its series PGDA Working Papers with number 4409.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:4409
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  1. David N. Weil, 2007. "Accounting for The Effect of Health on Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1265-1306, 08.
  2. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Sevilla, Jaypee, 2004. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-13, January.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2007. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(6), pages 925-985, December.
  4. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & Fabrice Murtin, 2011. "The Relationship Between Health and Growth: When Lucas Meets Nelson-Phelps," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(1).
  6. Matteo Cervellati & Uwe Sunde, 2011. "Life expectancy and economic growth: the role of the demographic transition," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 99-133, June.
  7. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "The Determinants of Mortality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 97-120, Summer.
  8. Arie ten Cate, 2004. "Refinement of the partial adjustment model using continuous-time econometrics," CPB Discussion Paper 41, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  9. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
  10. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  11. Marcia Caldas de Castro, 2001. "Changes in mortality and life expectancy: Some methodological issues," Mathematical Population Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3-4), pages 181-208.
  12. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Peter Lorentzen & John McMillan & Romain Wacziarg, 2005. "Death and Development," NBER Working Papers 11620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Durlauf,S.N. & Johnson,P.A. & Temple,J.R.W., 2004. "Growth econometrics," Working papers 18, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    • Durlauf, Steven N. & Johnson, Paul A. & Temple, Jonathan R.W., 2005. "Growth Econometrics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 555-677 Elsevier.
  16. Yoko Akachi & David Canning, 2007. "The Height of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Role of Health, Nutrition, and Income in Childhood," PGDA Working Papers 2207, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  17. Quamrul Ashraf & Ashley Lester & David Weil, 2008. "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," Working Papers 2008-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  18. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-45, April.
  19. Hoyt Bleakley, 2009. "Comment on "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 205-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
  21. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  22. Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "Malaria In The Americas: A Retrospective Analysis Of Childhood Exposure," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003185, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  23. Hoyt Bleakley, 2003. "Disease and Development: Evidence from the American South," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 376-386, 04/05.
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