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The effect of female and male health on economic growth: cross-country evidence within a production function framework

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Abstract

Adopting a production function based approach we model the role of health as a regular factor of production on economic growth. Additionally we disaggregate the measures of human capital by including male and female life expectancy and school enrolments. Allowing for the dynamics of TFP to be embedded in the production function we estimate it in growth form using various estimators appropriate for our data. Our main finding is that male life expectancy has a positive effect on the growth of income while female life expectancy has a negative effect, controlling for unobserved time and country effects in a panel of 83 countries from 1960 - 2009. We use lag differences of life expectancy and school enrolments and lagged growth rates of other inputs as instruments for controlling the endogenity of health in the growth regressions. We check for the robustness of the results with use of ‘deletion diagnostics’ to identify influential observations and outliers. The results continue to show that male life expectancy has a positive effect on income growth while that of female has a negative effect.

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  • Gazi Hassan & Arusha Cooray, 2012. "The effect of female and male health on economic growth: cross-country evidence within a production function framework," Economics Working Papers wp12-07, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp12-07
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    Keywords

    veterans; Health and economic development; economic growth; endogeneity; panel data; TFP convergence; economics of gender.;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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