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The Impact of Poor Health on Total Factor Productivity

  • Eric Neumayer
  • Matthew A. Cole

A number of recent studies have illustrated the link between health and growth (Gallup and Sachs 2000, McCarthy et al. 2000, Bhargava et al. 2000). This paper argues that a key mechanism through which health affects growth is via total factor productivity (TFP). We first estimate TFP based on a production function and then estimate the determinants of TFP, paying particular attention to three indicators of health that are particularly problematic in developing regions: malnutrition, malaria and waterborne diseases. We find the impact of poor health on TFP to be negative, significant, and robust across a wide variety of specifications.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0312001.

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Date of creation: 24 Dec 2003
Date of revision: 02 Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0312001
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