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Health Status and Labour Force Participation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Dynamic Panel Data Analysis

Jacob Novignon (), Justice Nonvignon and Eric Arthur

African Development Review, 2015, vol. 27, issue 1, 14-26

Abstract: type="main" xml:lang="en">

Sub-Saharan African countries face significant health challenges, with several countries still far from reaching the health-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The implication of this on economic growth and individual welfare is daunting. An important channel through which population health affects economic performance is labour supply and productivity. The objective of the study was to investigate a macro level relationship between population health status and labour force participation in sub-Saharan Africa. The study used panel data covering 46 countries from 1990 to 2011. A dynamic panel data model was estimated using the generalized method of moments. The results show that population health status (measured by life expectancy at birth) relates positively with labour force participation. The relationship was significant for total and female labour force participation. The findings call for improved population health status following the importance of labour force participation at the macro levels. Improved labour force contributes to the economic performance of a country at the macro level. Effective policy efforts should be directed towards providing facilities that will improve population health hence providing enough healthy time to participate in the labour force.

Date: 2015
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