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The effect of health on economic growth: a meta-regression analysis

Masagus M Ridhwan, Peter Nijkamp, Affandi Ismail and Luthfi M.Irsyad
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Peter Nijkamp: Open University
Affandi Ismail: Bank Indonesia
Luthfi M.Irsyad: Bank Indonesia

Empirical Economics, 2022, vol. 63, issue 6, No 15, 3251 pages

Abstract: Abstract The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of health on economic growth based on 719 estimates obtained from 64 studies from all over the world. We find evidence of a publication bias towards a positive estimated effect of health on economic growth. After accounting for heterogeneity of the estimates, we show that health has a genuine positive effect on economic growth. Less developed countries seem to enjoy a higher effect of health on growth driven by the ongoing economic–demographic transition in those countries. The variation of the health effect on economic growth is also influenced by the available data, estimation procedure, model specification, publication channel, and country characteristics in each study. Studies that do not account for endogeneity seem to create an upward bias. Studies with more comprehensive variables seem to increase the estimated effect of health on growth. A higher number of years of compulsory education, longer working experience, and more favourable environmental conditions also increase the effect size. Overall, our results confirm the key role of the health factor in explaining economic growth across countries.

Keywords: Meta-regression analysis; Mixed effect; Economic growth; Health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C8 I1 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s00181-022-02226-4

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