Department of Population & Int'l Health
Harvard School of Public Health
Building I, Room 1210d
665 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2002||The Wealth of Nations: Fundamental Forces Versus Poverty Traps|
with David E. Bloom, David Canning: w8714
We test the view the large differences in income levels we see across the world are due to differences in underlying characteristics, i.e. fundamental forces, against the alternative that there are poverty traps. Taking geographical variables as fundamental characteristics, we find that we can reject fundamental forces in favor of a poverty trap model with high and low level equilibria. The high level equilibrium state is found to be the same for all countries while income in the low level equilibrium, and the probability of being in the high level equilibrium, are greater in cool, coastal countries with high, year- round, rainfall.
|Technological Diffusion, Conditional Convergence, and Economic Growth|
with David E. Bloom, David Canning: w8713
Technological diffusion implies a form of 'conditional convergence' as lagging countries catch up with technological leaders. We find strong evidence of technological diffusion but not full convergence; differences in total factor productivity (TFP) persist even in the long run due to differences in geography and institutions. TFP differentials explain a large part of cross-country income differences in our model; our estimates of the rate of return to capital, labor and schooling are completely consistent with micro-economic studies, implying the absence of externalities in aggregate production.
|December 2001||Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition|
with David E. Bloom, David Canning: w8685
For decades, economists and social thinkers have debated the influence of population change on economic growth. Three alternative positions define this debate: that population growth restricts, promotes, or is independent of economic growth. Proponents of each explanation can find evidence to support their cases. All of these explanations, however, focus on population size and growth. In recent years, however, the debate has under-emphasized a critical issue, the age structure of the population (that is, the way in which the population is distributed across different age groups), which can change dramatically as the population grows. Because people's economic behavior varies at different stages of life, changes in a country's age structure can have significant effects on its economic ...
|November 2001||The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence|
with David E. Bloom, David Canning: w8587
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 o...
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.