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Health and economic growth in high-income countries revisited: evidence from an augmented production function for the period 1980–2009

Alper Aslan (), Angeliki N. Menegaki () and Can Tugcu
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Angeliki N. Menegaki: Organismos Georgikon Asfaliseon, Regional Branch of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace

Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, 2016, vol. 50, issue 2, 937-953

Abstract: Abstract This paper uses time series data for seven industrialized countries from 1980–2009 to explore the causality between health care expenditure (HCE) and economic growth. We have set up a classical Cobb–Douglas production function including HCE, labor, capital, and an augmented function additionally including the number of patent applications (as a proxy for technology and research) and the total number of tertiary education students (as a proxy for education). Our results show that there is a long-run relationship between growth and HCE. As regards causality, in the classical production function, evidence for mutual causality between GDP and HCE is noted only in France, Germany and England, causality from HCE to GDP is noted in Italy and Japan, while no causality whatsoever is evidenced in Canada and USA. However, a completely different situation is unveiled when the augmented production function is used with mutual causality being noted in all perused variables. The novelty of our study lies first in that it contributes to the health-growth nexus literature for high-income countries which has been quite controversial and second it sets off new variables whose omission might be one of the reasons of the result dichotomy. Results of this study will be very useful for high-income countries currently afflicted by the economic crisis and embark on HCE curtailments or revisions.

Keywords: Augmented production function; Growth; Health; High-income countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:50:y:2016:i:2:d:10.1007_s11135-015-0184-2