NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Health, Human Capital Formation and Knowledge Production: Two Centuries of International Evidence

Jakob Madsen

NBER Working Paper No. 18461
Issued in October 2012
NBER Program(s):   HE

Recent medical research shows that health is highly influential for learning and the ability to think laterally; however, past economic studies have failed to empirically examine the influence of health on learning, schooling, and ideas production; the main drivers of growth in endogenous growth models. This paper constructs a measure of health-adjusted educational attainment among the working age population based on their health status during the time they did their education. Using annual data for 21 OECD countries over the past two centuries it is shown that health has been highly influential for the quantity and quality of schooling, innovations and growth.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18461

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