Disease and Development Revisited
In a recent paper, Acemoglu and Johnson (2007) argue that the large increases in population health witnessed in the 20th century may have lowered income levels. We argue that this result depends crucially on their assumption that initial health and income do not affect subsequent economic growth. Using their data we reject this assumption in favor of a model of conditional convergence, with income adjusting to its steady state over time. We show that, allowing for conditional convergence, exogenous improvements in health due to technical advances associated with the epidemiological transition appear to have increased income levels.
We are grateful to Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson for sharing their data and computer programs. We would like to thank Hoyt Bleakley, Jocelyn Finlay, Isabel Günther, Dean Jamison, and Sebastian Linnemayr for useful discussions. Support for this research was provided by grant number 5 P30 AG024409 from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, and by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
David E. Bloom & David Canning & G�nther Fink, 2014. "Disease and Development Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1355 - 1366. citation courtesy of