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Disease and Development Revisited

  • Bloom, David E.


    (Harvard University)

  • Canning, David


    (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Fink, Günther


    (Harvard School of Public Health)

Acemoglu and Johnson (2007) present evidence that improvements in population health do not promote economic growth. We show that their result depends critically on the assumption that initial health has no causal effect on subsequent economic growth. We argue that such an effect is likely, primarily because childhood health affects adult productivity. In our augmented model, which includes initial health, the instrumental variable proposed by Acemoglu and Johnson has no significant predictive power for improvements in health and does not identify the effect of contemporaneous improvements in health on economic growth.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7391.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Political Economy, 2014, 122 (6), 1355-1366
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7391
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  1. 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.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & Fabrice Murtin, 2010. "The Relationship Between Health and Growth: When Lucas Meets Nelson-Phelps," NBER Working Papers 15813, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Cervellati, Matteo & Sunde, Uwe, 2011. "Life expectancy and economic growth: The role of the demographic transition," Munich Reprints in Economics 20078, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "Malaria In The Americas: A Retrospective Analysis Of Childhood Exposure," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003185, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  6. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  7. Quamrul Ashraf & Ashley Lester & David Weil, 2008. "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," Working Papers 2008-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  8. James J. Heckman, 2007. "The Economics, Technology and Neuroscience of Human Capability Formation," NBER Working Papers 13195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Cutler & Angus Deaton & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Determinants of Mortality," Working Papers 235, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  13. 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.
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  15. Johnson, Paul & Durlauf, Steven N & Temple, Johnathan R. W., 2004. "Growth Econometrics," Vassar College Department of Economics Working Paper Series 61, Vassar College Department of Economics.
    • 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. 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.
  17. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.
  19. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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