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Health investments and economic growth : macroeconomic evidence and microeconomic foundations

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  • Jack, William
  • Lewis, Maureen

Abstract

This paper reviews the correlations and potential links between health and economic growth and summarizes the evidence on the role of government in improving health status. At the macroeconomic level, the evidence of an impact of health on growth remains ambiguous due both to difficulties in measuring health, and to the methodological challenges of identifying causal links. The evidence on the micro linkages from health investments to productivity and income are robust. Progress in life expectancy over the past two centuries has been spectacular, fueled by: improved agriculture that has increased food quantity; knowledge of disease transmission, and effective public health interventions that have controlled communicable diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and hookworm; and, most recently and importantly, investments in very young children that pay off in healthier and more productive adults. Whether public investments in medical care affect health hinges on the quality of health institutions. In much of the developing world, factors such as chronic absenteeism among public providers, poor budget execution, ineffective management, and virtually no accountability weaken public efforts. Institutional issues are central in efforts to enhance public health investments, which in turn have a direct impact on the population's welfare and, perhaps over the long term, improvements in national income.

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  • Jack, William & Lewis, Maureen, 2009. "Health investments and economic growth : macroeconomic evidence and microeconomic foundations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4877, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4877
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    Cited by:

    1. Martine Audibert & Pascale Combes Motel & Alassane Drabo, 2013. "Health capital depreciation effects on development: theory and measurement," Working Papers halshs-00832877, HAL.
    2. Clemens, Michael A., 2009. "Skill Flow: A Fundamental Reconsideration of Skilled-Worker Mobility and Development," MPRA Paper 19186, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Chijioke O. Nwosu, 2016. "The impact of health on the employment and earnings of young South Africans," Working Papers 601, Economic Research Southern Africa.
    4. Yusuke Kamiya, 2010. "Determinants of Health in Developing Countries:Cross-Country Evidence," OSIPP Discussion Paper 10E009, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University.
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    6. Madsen, Jakob B., 2016. "Health, Human Capital Formation And Knowledge Production: Two Centuries Of International Evidence," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 909-953, June.
    7. Tang, Chor Foon, 2011. "Multivariate Granger Causality and the Dynamic Relationship between Health Care Spending, Income and Relative Price of Health Care in Malaysia," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 52(2), pages 199-214, December.
    8. David Mayer-Foulkes, 2010. "Non-communicable Chronic Diseases in the Americas: An Economic Perspective on Health Policie," Working papers DTE 488, CIDE, División de Economía.
    9. Chen, Yuyu & Wang, Hui & Yan, Se, 2014. "The Long-Term Effects of Protestant Activities in China," MPRA Paper 53531, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Basseti, Thomas & Benos, Nikos & Karagiannis, Stelios, 2010. "How policy can influence human capital accumulation and environment quality," MPRA Paper 21754, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    14. World Bank, 2012. "Liberia : Strategic Policy Options for Medium Term Growth and Development," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12608, The World Bank.
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    16. KAMIYA, Yusuke, 2011. "Effects of Health Systems and Socioeconomic Factors in Reducing Child Mortality in Developing Countries: Empirical Results from System Generalised Method of Moments," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 11(2).
    17. Lofgren, Hans, 2013. "Creating and using fiscal space for accelerated development in Liberia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6678, The World Bank.
    18. Jean-Marc MONTAUD & Mahamadou Roufahi TANKARI, 2013. "When social goals meet economic goals: the double dividend of extending free access to healthcare in Uganda," Working Papers 2012-2013_8, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Jul 2013.

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    Keywords

    Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Health Systems Development&Reform; Population Policies; Health Economics&Finance; Disease Control&Prevention;

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