Productive Benefits of Health: Evidence from Low-Income Countries

31 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2005

See all articles by T. Paul Schultz

T. Paul Schultz

Yale University - Economic Growth Center; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2005

Abstract

Various household survey indicators of adult nutrition and health status are analyzed as determinants of individual wages. However, survey indicators of health status may be heterogeneous, or a combination of health human capital formed by investment behavior and variation due to genotype, random shocks, and measurement error, which are uncontrolled by behavior. Although there are no definitive methods for distinguishing between human capital and genetic variation in health outcomes, alternative mappings of health status, such as height, on community health services, parent socioeconomic characteristics, and ethnic categories may be suggestive. Instrumental variable estimates of health human capital and residual sources of variation in measured health status are included in wage functions to assess empirically whether the productivity of both components of health are equal. Evidence from Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Brazil suggest that the health human capital effect on wages is substantially larger than that associated with residual health variation.

Keywords: Health Human Capital, Wage Productivity, Brazil, Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire

JEL Classification: I12, J24, O12

Suggested Citation

Schultz, T. Paul, Productive Benefits of Health: Evidence from Low-Income Countries (January 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=645001

T. Paul Schultz (Contact Author)

Yale University - Economic Growth Center ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, CT 06520-8269
United States
203-432-3620 (Phone)
203-432-5591 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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