Public and Private Returns to Investing in Nutrition
In Oxford Handbook of Economics and Human Biology, edited by John Komlos, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015
Posted: 4 Feb 2015 Last revised: 18 Nov 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2015
Although nutrition contributes to welfare in and of itself, it also contributes to individual economic productivity, as well as national income growth. The argument that improving nutrition is an investment on par with other productivity-enhancing expenditures rather than simply a form of government social spending designed to improve welfare and equity is hardly new (Leibenstein 1957; Berg and Muscat 1972). There is now extensive data to substantiate this point. This review recapitulates some recent evidence brought to this argument by economists.
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