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Diseases, infection dynamics and development

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  • Chris Papageorgiou

    () (Louisiana State University)

  • Fidel Pérez Sebastián

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

  • Shankha Chakraborty

    () (Department of Economics)

Abstract

We propose an economic theory of infectious disease transmission and rational behavior. Diseases are costly due to mortality (premature death) and morbidity (lower productivity and quality of life). The theory offers three main insights. First, higher disease prevalence implies lower saving-investment propensity. Preventive behavior can partially offset this when the prevalence rate and negative disease externality are relatively low. Secondly, infectious diseases can generate a low-growth trap where income alone cannot push an economy out of underdevelopment, a result that differs from development traps in the existing literature. Since income per se does not cause health in this equilibrium, successful interventions have to be health specific. Thirdly, a more favorable disease ecology propels the economy to a higher growth path where infectious diseases are eradicated. Even so, diseases can significantly slow down convergence to this growth path. Taken together, our results suggest that the empirical relationship between health and income at the aggregate level may be more nuanced than realized.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Pérez Sebastián & Shankha Chakraborty, 2010. "Diseases, infection dynamics and development," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-28, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasad:2010-28
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    Cited by:

    1. Luca Gori & Enrico Lupi & Piero Manfredi & Mauro Sodini, 2017. "Can HIV alter the quantity-quality switch and delay the fertility transition in Sub-Saharan Africa?," CEIS Research Paper 416, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 08 Dec 2017.
    2. Mark E. McGovern & Aditi Krishna & Victor M. Aguayo & S.V. Subramanian, 2017. "A Review of the Evidence Linking Child Stunting to Economic Outcomes," CHaRMS Working Papers 17-03, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
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    4. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori & Fabio Tramontana, 2014. "Endogenous lifetime, accidental bequests and economic growth," Decisions in Economics and Finance, Springer;Associazione per la Matematica, vol. 37(1), pages 81-98, April.
    5. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2014. "Endogenous fertility, endogenous lifetime and economic growth: the role of child policies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 529-564, April.
    6. Shin, Inyong, 2013. "The Effect of Compressed Demographic Transition and Demographic Gift on Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 45003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Fenichel, Eli P., 2013. "Economic considerations for social distancing and behavioral based policies during an epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 440-451.
    8. Allen, Jeffrey & Chakraborty, Shankha, 2018. "Aspirations, health and the cost of inequality," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 144-164.
    9. Arshia Amiri & Ulf-g Gerdtham & Bruno Ventelou, 2012. "HIV/AIDS-GDP Nexus? Evidence from panel-data for African countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 1060-1067.
    10. Chakraborty, Shankha & Papageorgiou, Chris & Sebastián, Fidel Pérez, 2016. "Health Cycles And Health Transitions," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 189-213, January.
    11. Pierre-Richard Agénor & Madina Agénor, 2014. "Infrastructure, women’s time allocation, and economic development," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 113(1), pages 1-30, September.
    12. Luciano Fanti & Luca Gori, 2012. "Public Expenditure on Health and Private Old-Age Insurance in an OLG Growth Model with Endogenous Fertility: Chaotic Dynamics Under Perfect Foresight," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 40(4), pages 333-353, December.
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    18. Shu-Chen Chang & Teng-Yu Chang, 2012. "Threshold Effects of Economic Growth on Air Pollution under Regimes of Corruption," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(1), pages 1046-1059.
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    21. Aksan, Anna-Maria & Chakraborty, Shankha, 2013. "Twin Transitions," MPRA Paper 49929, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Keywords

    Infectious Disease; Rational Disease Behavior; Morbidity; Mortality; Productivity; Economic Development;

    JEL classification:

    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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