Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Moore School of Business

Sub-Department

Economics

First Advisor

John McDermott

Second Advisor

Janice Breuer

Abstract

Macroeconomists acknowledge the contributions of health improvements to economic growth, but controversy exists in the findings of recent research on the topic. This paper attempts to empirically investigate the relationship between health improvements and economic growth by exploiting and expanding upon previous research practices and results. I obtain cross-country estimates of life expectancy, my proxy for health. I employ fixed effects estimation to research the effect of health improvements across time and space. My results indicate an increase in life expectancy by one percentage point increases GDP per capita by 1.34 percentage points. I document a larger effect on total GDP; an increase in life expectancy by one percentage point increases total GDP by 3.87 percentage points. My research suggests that there is a positive and strong correlation between life expectancy and economic growth.

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