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Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink

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  • Daron Acemoglu
  • Simon Johnson

Abstract

Bloom, Canning, and Fink (2014) argue that the results in Acemoglu and Johnson (2006, 2007) are not robust because initial level of life expectancy (in 1940) should be included in our regressions of changes in GDP per capita on changes in life expectancy. We assess their claims controlling for potential lagged effects of initial life expectancy using data from 1900, employing a nonlinear estimator suggested by their framework, and using information from microeconomic estimates on the effects of improving health. There is no evidence for a positive effect of life expectancy on GDP per capita in this important historical episode.

Suggested Citation

  • Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2014. "Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink," NBER Working Papers 20064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20064
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink, 2014. "Disease and Development Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1355-1366.
    2. Quamrul H. Ashraf & Ashley Lester & David N. Weil, 2009. "When Does Improving Health Raise GDP?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, pages 157-204, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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