Health and Economic Growth: Reconciling the Micro and Macro Evidence
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Economists use micro-based and macro-based approaches to assess the effects of health on economic growth. The micro-based approach tends to find smaller effects than the macro-based approach, thus presenting a micro-macro puzzle regarding the economic return on health. We reconcile these two strands of literature by showing that the point estimate of the macroeconomic effect of health is quantitatively close to that found by aggregating the microeconomic effects, when carefully specifying the estimation equations and controlling for spillovers of health at the aggregate level. Our results justify using the micro-based approach to estimate the direct economic benefits of health interventions.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26003