NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink

Daron Acemoglu, Simon Johnson

NBER Working Paper No. 20064
Issued in April 2014
NBER Program(s):   DEV   EFG

Bloom, Canning, and Fink (2014) argue that the results in Acemoglu and Johnson (2006, 2007) are not robust because initial level of life expectancy (in 1940) should be included in our regressions of changes in GDP per capita on changes in life expectancy. We assess their claims controlling for potential lagged effects of initial life expectancy using data from 1900, employing a nonlinear estimator suggested by their framework, and using information from microeconomic estimates on the effects of improving health. There is no evidence for a positive effect of life expectancy on GDP per capita in this important historical episode.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20064

 
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