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Health in an age of globalization

  • Angus Deaton

    (Princeton University)

Disease has traveled with goods and people since the earliest times. Armed globalization spread disease, to the extent of eliminating entire populations. The geography of disease shaped patterns of colonization and industrialization throughout the now poor world. Many see related threats to public health from current globalization. Multilateral and bilateral trade agreements do not always adequately represent the interests of poor countries, the General Agreement on Trade in Services may restrict the freedom of signatories to shape their own health delivery systems, and it remains unclear whether current arrangements for intellectual property rights are in the interests of citizens of poor countries with HIV/AIDS. However, to the extent that globalization promotes economic growth, population health may benefit, and there has been substantial reductions in poverty and in international inequalities in life-expectancy over the last 50 years. Although there is a strong inverse relationship between the poverty and life-expectancy in levels, gains in life expectancy have been only weakly correlated with growth rates and, in the last decade, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has widened international inequalities in life expectancy. The rapid transmission of health knowledge and therapies from one rich country to another has led to a swift convergence of adult mortality rates among the rich of the world, particularly men. Globalization would do much for global health if transmission from rich to poor countries could be accelerated.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. in its series Working Papers with number 245.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cheawb:deaton_healthglobalage
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  1. Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1996. "Wealthier is Healthier," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 841-868.
  2. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2002. "Health, inequality, and economic development," Working Papers 209, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  5. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
  6. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Mortality, Income, and Income Inequality Over Time in Britain and the United States," NBER Working Papers 8534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Susan Chun Zhu & Daniel Trefler, 2001. "Ginis in General Equilibrium: Trade, Technology and Southern Inequality," NBER Working Papers 8446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  9. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2003. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," NBER Working Papers 9765, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Samuel H. Preston, 1980. "Causes and Consequences of Mortality Declines in Less Developed Countries during the Twentieth Century," NBER Chapters, in: Population and Economic Change in Developing Countries, pages 289-360 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hills, John, 2004. "Inequality and the State," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199276646, March.
  13. Samuel H. Preston, 1996. "American Longevity: Past, Present, and Future," Center for Policy Research Policy Briefs 7, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  14. Easterlin, Richard A., 1999. "How beneficent is the market? A look at the modern history of mortality," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 257-294, December.
  15. Stanley Fischer, 2003. "Globalization and Its Challenges," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 1-30, May.
  16. Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze & Jean Drèze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination," Working papers 107, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
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