nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2005‒07‒11
four papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. HEALTH, NUTRITION, HUMAN CAPITAL AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN COLOMBIA 1995-2000 By Carmen Elisa Flórez; Rocio Ribero; Belen Samper
  2. Measuring Changes in Health Capital By José M. Labeaga; Xisco Oliver; Amedeo Spadaro
  3. Health System in India: Opportunities and Challenges for Improvements By Ramani K V; Mavalankar Dileep
  4. Unhealthy Assimilation: Why Do Immigrants Converge to American Health Status Levels? By Heather Antecol; Kelly Bedard

  1. By: Carmen Elisa Flórez; Rocio Ribero; Belen Samper
    Abstract: Although most of the literature on economic growth has focused on studying the impact of economic growth on health status of the population, research in the last decades has given greater importance to the analysis of the impact of nutrition and health on human capital accumulation, economic growth and social development. For the specific case of Colombia, very few studies have analyzed, at the individual level, the impact of health status on labor productivity. This study expands our knowledge on the impact of health on human capital accumulation and long term economic growth. Using empirical evidence from the DHS of 1995 and 2000, it examines the relationships between health status, education and labor productivity, and it analyzes the likely impact of nutrition and health status on human capital accumulation. In addition it shows evidence of the intergenerational transmission of good nutritional status in 1995 and 2000 in Colombia.
    Keywords: Human capital
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2003–11–15
  2. By: José M. Labeaga; Xisco Oliver; Amedeo Spadaro
    Abstract: This study is aimed to estimate the value of the change in health in Catalonia (Spain), from 1994 to 2002. Quality-adjusted years of life (QALYs) and years of life (YOL) for genders and different ages were calculated, by using survival rates and health state scores. The source of data was the Catalonia Health Survey (n94=15.000; n02=8.400), which includes questions directly based on EQ-5D measures. Health state scores were obtained by applying the Spanish EQ-5D index tariffs (TTO and VAS). We assumed a monetary value for a QALY of $100,000 and a discount rate of 3%, for preserving comparability with other contributions in the literature. Our results shown that the health capital stock has diminished from 1994 to 2002 due to a worsening in the quality of life of the population. Other studies report one such worsening in the younger age groups and an improvement in older age groups. In our case, the deterioration affects to all age groups. More data is necessary to determine if the drop in quality of life was due to an exogenous shock or to a structural tendency.
  3. By: Ramani K V; Mavalankar Dileep
    Abstract: Health and Socio-economic developments are so closely intertwined that is impossible to achieve one without the other. While the economic development in India has been gaining momentum over the last decade, our health system is at crossroads today. Even though Government initiatives in public health have recorded some noteworthy successes over time, the Indian health system is ranked 118 among 191 WHO member countries on overall health performance. Building Health Systems that are responsive to community needs, particularly for the poor, requires politically difficult and administratively demanding choices. Health is a priority goal in its own right, as well as a central input into economic development and poverty reduction. Health sector is complex with multiple goals, multiple products, and different beneficiaries. India is well placed now to develop a uniquely Indian set of health sector reforms to enable the health system in meeting the increasing expectations of its users and staff. Managerial challenges are many to ensure availability, access, affordability, and equity in delivering health services to meet the community needs efficiently and effectively. In this working paper, we describe the status of our health system, discuss critical areas of management concerns, suggest a few health sector reform measures, and conclude by identifying the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders for building health systems that are responsive to the community needs, particularly for the poor.
    Keywords: Availability, Access, Affordability, Equity, Efficiency, Effectiveness
    Date: 2005–07–08
  4. By: Heather Antecol (Claremont McKenna College and IZA Bonn); Kelly Bedard (University of California, Santa Barbara)
    Abstract: It is well documented that immigrants are in better health upon arrival in the United States than their American counterparts, but that this health advantage erodes over time. We study the potential determinants of this "healthy immigrant effect", with a particular focus on the tendency of immigrants to converge to unhealthy American BMI levels. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, we find that the average female and male immigrants enter the U.S. with BMIs that are approximately two and five percentage points lower than nativeborn women and men, respectively. And, consistent with the declining health status of immigrants the longer they remain in the United States, we also find that female immigrants almost completely converge to American BMIs within ten years of arrival and men close a third of the gap within fifteen years.
    Keywords: immigrant, assimilation, health
    JEL: I1 J1
    Date: 2005–07

This nep-hea issue is ©2005 by Yong Yin. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.