nep-hea New Economics Papers
on Health Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒01
nine papers chosen by
Yong Yin
SUNY at Buffalo, USA

  1. The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya By Harsha Thirumurthy; Joshua Graff Zivin; Markus Goldstein
  2. Intermunicipal Health Care Consortia in Brazil: Strategic Behavior, Incentives and Sustainability By Teixeira, Luciana; Bugarin, Mauricio S.; Dourado, Maria Cristina
  3. Analysis of the Socioeconomic Difficulties Affecting the Suicide Rate in Japan By Ryoichi Watanabe; Masakazu Furukawa; Ryota Nakamura; Yoshiaki Ogura
  4. Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth By David Weil
  5. Diseases and Development By Shankha Chakraborty; Chris Papageorgiou; Fidel Pérez Sebastián
  6. Determinants of Public Health Outcomes: A Macroeconomic Perspective By Francesco Ricci; Marios Zachariadis
  7. Advancing Medical Technology, Aging Population, and Economic Growth By Gilad Sorek
  8. Natural Selection and the Evolution of Life Expectancy By Oded Galor; Omer Moav
  9. Longevity and Lifetime Labor Input: Data and Implications By Moshe Hazan

  1. By: Harsha Thirumurthy (Center for Global Development); Joshua Graff Zivin (Columbia University); Markus Goldstein (World Bank)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal survey data from western Kenya, this paper estimates the economic impacts of antiretroviral treatment. The responses in two important outcomes are studied: (1) labor supply of adult AIDS patients receiving treatment; and (2) labor supply of patients’ household members. We find that within six months after treatment initiation, there is a 20 percent increase in patients’ likelihood of participating in the labor force and a 35 percent increase in weekly hours worked. Since patient health would continue to decline without treatment, these labor supply responses are underestimates of the impact of treatment on the treated. The upper bound of the treatment impact, based on plausible assumptions about the counterfactual, is considerably larger. The responses in household members’labor supply are heterogeneous, with young boys and women work significiantly less after initiation of treatment. The effects on child labor are important since they suggest potential schooling impacts from treatment.
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, ARV Treatment, Labor Supply, Child Labor
    JEL: I1 I3 O1 J2
    Date: 2006–11
  2. By: Teixeira, Luciana; Bugarin, Mauricio S.; Dourado, Maria Cristina
    Date: 2006–10
  3. By: Ryoichi Watanabe (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Masakazu Furukawa (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University); Ryota Nakamura (Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University); Yoshiaki Ogura (Hitotsubashi Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the drastic increase observed in the Japanese male suicide rate in the late 1990s and early 2000s and confirms unemployment and personal bankruptcy to be the associated socioeconomic factors behind the male suicide variation. Personal bankruptcy is also confirmed to be significant in the female suicide variation. The relationship is confirmed through a pooled data analysis by a middle-aged group and by prefecture. Further, the paper focused on the association between the unemployment rate and suicide mortality by incorporating the reasons for unemployment in the monthly regression. Next, we identified a significant association between male suicide variations and changes in some of the reasons for being unemployed. The interpretation of the results implies that the risk of unemployment among men has been mitigated by the unemployment insurance rather than the bias in the reasons reported and/or mental disorder in Japan.
    Date: 2006–12
  4. By: David Weil
    Abstract: I use microeconomic estimates of the effect of health on individual outcomes to construct macroeconomic estimates of the proximate effect of health on GDP per capita. I use a variety of methods to construct estimates of the return to health, which I combine with cross-country and historical data on several health indicators including height, adult survival, and age at menarche. My preferred estimate of the share of cross-country variance in log income per worker explained by variation in health is 22.6%, roughly the same as the share accounted for by human capital from education, and larger than the share accounted for by physical capital. I present alternative estimates ranging between 9.5% and 29.5%. My preferred estimate of the reduction in world income variance that would result from eliminating health variations among countries is 36.6%.
    Date: 2006–06
  5. By: Shankha Chakraborty; Chris Papageorgiou; Fidel Pérez Sebastián
    Date: 2006–06
  6. By: Francesco Ricci; Marios Zachariadis
    Abstract: This paper investigates the nature of the aggregate production function of health services. We build a model to analyze the role of public policy in determining social health outcomes, taking into account households choices concerning education, health related expenditures and saving. In the model, education has a positive external effect on health outcomes. Next, we perform an empirical analysis using a data set covering 80 countries from 1961 to 1995. We find strong evidence for a dual role of education as a determinant of health outcomes. In particular, we find that society’s tertiary education attainment levels contribute positively to how many years an individual should expect to live, in addition to the role that basic education plays for life expectancy at the individual household level. This finding uncovers a key externality of the educational sector on the ability of society to take advantage of best practices in the health service sector.
    Keywords: Education, life expectancy, external effects, absorptive capacity.
    JEL: O30 O40
    Date: 2006–06
  7. By: Gilad Sorek
    Abstract: Endogenous accumulation of human capital increases labor productivity and promotes technological progress in the medical industry. Technological progress lowers the relative price of health services. The rising income and decreasing price of health services allow the elderly to prolong their life expectancy by using increasing amounts of healthcare services—but not necessarily by consuming a larger share of healthcare expenditure. As adults invest more in their human capital, they bear fewer children. Thus, the aging of the population is two-tailed. We characterize the optimal heath tax rate, and analyze the affects of suboptimal taxation on the dynamics of growth and aging.
    Date: 2006–06
  8. By: Oded Galor; Omer Moav
    Abstract: This research advances an evolutionary growth theory that captures the pattern of life expectancy in the process of development, shedding new light on the sources of the remarkable rise in life expectancy since the Agricultural Revolution. The theory suggests that social, economic and environmental changes that were associated with the transition from hunter-gatherer tribes to sedentary agricultural communities and ultimately to urban societies affected the nature of the environmental hazards confronted by the human population, triggering an evolutionary process that had a significant impact on the time path of human longevity.
    Keywords: Life Expectancy, Growth, Technological Progress, Evolution, Natural Selection, Malthusian Stagnation
    JEL: I12 J13 N3 O10
    Date: 2006–06
  9. By: Moshe Hazan
    Abstract: Recent growth theories have utilized the Ben-Porath (1967) mechanism according to which prolonging the period in which individuals may receive returns on their investment spurs investment in human capital and cause growth. An important, though sometime implicit implication of these models is that total labor input over the lifetime increases as longevity does. We propose a thought experiment to empirically evaluate the relevancy of this mechanism to the transition from “stagnation” to “growth” of the nowadays developed economies. Specifically, we estimate the expected total working hours over the lifetime of nine consecutive cohorts of American men born between 1840 and 1920. Our results show that despite a gain of almost 9 years in the expectations of life at age 20, the expected total working hours over the lifetime have declined from more than 117,000 hours to less than 90,000 between the oldest and the youngest cohorts. We conclude that the Ben-Porath mechanism have had a lesser effect than previously thought on the accumulation of human capital during the growth process.
    Keywords: longevity, human capital, hours-worked
    JEL: E20 J22 J24 J26 O11
    Date: 2006–06

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