Disease and Development Revisited

20 Pages Posted: 18 May 2013

See all articles by David E. Bloom

David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Canning

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Günther Fink

Harvard University - Department of Population and International Health

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Abstract

Acemoglu and Johnson (2007) present evidence that improvements in population health do not promote economic growth. We show that their result depends critically on the assumption that initial health has no causal effect on subsequent economic growth. We argue that such an effect is likely, primarily because childhood health affects adult productivity. In our augmented model, which includes initial health, the instrumental variable proposed by Acemoglu and Johnson has no significant predictive power for improvements in health and does not identify the effect of contemporaneous improvements in health on economic growth.

Keywords: health, development, economic growth

JEL Classification: I10, O40

Suggested Citation

Bloom, David E. and Canning, David and Fink, Günther, Disease and Development Revisited. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7391, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2266818

David E. Bloom (Contact Author)

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

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Boston, MA MA 02115
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617-432-0654 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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David Canning

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Günther Fink

Harvard University - Department of Population and International Health ( email )

665 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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