Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=290389
 
 

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The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence


David E. Bloom


Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Canning


Queen's University Belfast

Jaypee Sevilla


Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health

November 2001

NBER Working Paper No. w8587

Abstract:     
Macroeconomists acknowledge the contribution of human capital to economic growth, but their empirical studies define human capital solely in terms of schooling. In this paper, we extend production function models of economic growth to account for two additional variables that microeconomists have identified as fundamental components of human capital: work experience and health. Our main result is that good health has a positive, sizable, and statistically significant effect on aggregate output. We find little variation across countries in average work experience, thus differentials in work experience account for little variation in rates of economic growth. Finally, we find that the effects of average schooling on national output are consistent with microeconomic estimates of the effects of individual schooling on earnings, suggesting that education creates no discernible externalities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

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Date posted: November 10, 2001  

Suggested Citation

Bloom, David E. and Canning, David and Sevilla, Jaypee, The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence (November 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8587. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=290389

Contact Information

David E. Bloom (Contact Author)
Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health ( email )
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-0654 (Phone)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Dave Canning
Queen's University Belfast ( email )
Department of Economics
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland
44-2890-273281 (Phone)
Jaypee Sevilla
Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health ( email )
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-432-4054 (Phone)
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