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Death and Development

  • Peter Lorentzen

    ()

    (Graduate School of Business Stanford University)

  • John McMillan
  • Romain Wacziarg

Analyzing a variety of cross-national and sub-national data sources, we show that high adult mortality reduces economic growth by shortening time horizons. Higher adult mortality is associated with increased levels of risky behavior, higher fertility and lower investment in physical and human capital. Furthermore, the feedback effect from economic prosperity to better healthcare implies that mortality could be the source of a poverty-trap. In our regressions, adult mortality explains almost all of Africa's growth tragedy over the past forty years. Our analysis also supports grim forecasts of the long-run economic costs of the ongoing AIDS epidemic.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 61.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:61
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