C. Hoyt Bleakley photo

Health, Human Capital, and Development

Publication Abstract

Bleakley, C. Hoyt. 2010. "Health, Human Capital, and Development." Annual Review of Economics, 2: 283-310.

How much does disease depress development in human capital and income around the world? I discuss a range of micro evidence, which finds that health is both human capital itself and an input to producing other forms of human capital. I use a standard model to integrate these results and suggest a reinterpretation of much of the micro literature. I then discuss the aggregate implications of micro estimates but note the complications in extrapolating to general equilibrium, especially because of health's effect on population size. I also review the macro evidence on this topic, which consists of either cross-country comparisons or measuring responses to health shocks. Micro estimates are one to two orders of magnitude smaller than the cross-country relationship but nevertheless imply high benefit-to-cost ratios from improving certain forms of health.

10.1146/annurev.economics.102308.124436

PMCID: PMC3800109. (Pub Med Central)

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