Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink
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.
We thank Pascual Restrepo for excellent research assistance, and the editor and three anonymous referees for useful suggestions. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Simon Johnson sometimes speaks for a fee to financial sector groups.
Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2014. "Disease and Development: A Reply to Bloom, Canning, and Fink," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(6), pages 1367 - 1375. citation courtesy of