NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence

David E. Bloom, David Canning, Jaypee Sevilla

NBER Working Paper No. 8587
Issued in November 2001
NBER Program(s):   AG   HC   IFM   LS

Macroeconomists acknowledge the contribution of human capital to economic growth, but their empirical studies define human capital solely in terms of schooling. In this paper, we extend production function models of economic growth to account for two additional variables that microeconomists have identified as fundamental components of human capital: work experience and health. Our main result is that good health has a positive, sizable, and statistically significant effect on aggregate output. We find little variation across countries in average work experience, thus differentials in work experience account for little variation in rates of economic growth. Finally, we find that the effects of average schooling on national output are consistent with microeconomic estimates of the effects of individual schooling on earnings, suggesting that education creates no discernible externalities.

download in pdf format
   (198 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (198 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8587

Published: Bloom, David E., David Canning and Jaypee Sevilla. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: A Production Function Approach." World Development 32, 1 (2004): 1–13.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Becker, Murphy, and Tamura Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth
Aghion, Howitt, and Murtin w15813 The Relationship Between Health and Growth: When Lucas Meets Nelson-Phelps
Bloom, Canning, and Sevilla w8685 Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition
Deaton w8318 Health, Inequality, and Economic Development
Weil w11455 Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us