The Role of Education in Health System Performance: A Propos World Health Report 2000
I investigate the role of education on health, using country level data and the production frontier framework suggested by the World Health Organization to assess performances of health care systems. I find that the role of human capital is much smaller than what appears in the WHO frontier model, and the relationship exhibits diminishing return in the observed range. Taking into account the heterogeneity in this relationship generates a different ranking of countries according to the efficiency of their health care system. This suggests that the method currently used by the WHO indeed favors health care systems operating in countries which underinvested in education in the past. The relationship between education and health changes around an average value of 8 years of education per individual: above that level, the return of years of education in health is zero.
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