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

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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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia in its series Economics Working Papers with number wp12-07.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp12-07
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics, University of Wollongong, Northfields Avenue, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia
Phone: +612 4221-3659
Fax: +612 4221-3725
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