The Rise of Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century

Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 16/2013

22 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2013 Last revised: 20 Sep 2014

See all articles by Casper Worm Hansen

Casper Worm Hansen

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics; University of Copenhagen

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 16, 2013

Abstract

This research documents that the growth rate of life expectancy over the 20th century decreased the growth rate of per capita GDP and the growth rate of population. Exploiting exogenous variation in life expectancy from mid-20th century medical advances (e.g., antibiotics), the analysis establishes that countries with higher levels of mortality from infectious diseases prior to the medical innovations experienced higher growth rates in life expectancy and population size and lower growth rates in per capita GDP in the second half of the 20th century. These …findings are robust to the inclusion of initial life expectancy and initial economic conditions.

Keywords: Life expectancy, Health shock, Long-run economic growth

JEL Classification: I10, O40, J11

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Casper Worm and Lønstrup, Lars, The Rise of Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century (October 16, 2013). Discussion Papers on Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark, 16/2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2340926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2340926

Casper Worm Hansen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Copenhagen K, DK 1153
Denmark

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

Lars Lønstrup

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdu.dk/staff/loe.aspx

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