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Death and Development

Peter Lorentzen, John McMillan and Romain Wacziarg ()

No 5246, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Analyzing a variety of cross-national and sub-national data, we argue that high adult mortality reduces economic growth by shortening time horizons. Higher adult mortality is associated with increased levels of risky behaviour, higher fertility, and lower investment in physical and human capital. Furthermore, the feedback effect from economic prosperity to better health care implies that mortality could be the source of a poverty trap. In our regressions, adult mortality explains almost all of Africa's growth tragedy. Our analysis also underscores grim forecasts of the long-run economic costs of the ongoing AIDS epidemic.

Keywords: fertility; growth; human capital; investment; mortality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J10 O10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-09
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Journal Article: Death and development (2008) Downloads
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