Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Discussion Papers of Business and Economics,
University of Southern Denmark, Department of Business and Economics

No 16/2013: The Rise of Life Expectancy and Economic Growth in the 20th Century

Casper Worm Hansen () and Lars Lønstrup ()
Additional contact information
Casper Worm Hansen: Department of Economics and Business, Postal: Aarhus University, Fuglesangs Allé 4, 8210 Aarhus V, Denmark
Lars Lønstrup: Department of Business and Economics, Postal: University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark

Abstract: This study documents that the growth in life expectancy over the 20th century decreased per capita GDP growth and increased population growth. By exploiting significant advances in medical technologies, starting to diffuse in the 1940s, the analysis establishes that countries with higher levels of infectious-disease mortality prior to the medical breakthrough experienced higher growth rates in life expectancy and population size, and lower growth rates in per capita GDP in the time after the medical breakthroughs. These findings are robust to the inclusion of initial life expectancy and initial GDP per capita. The evidence presented here therefore complements the conclusions inferred in the research by Acemoglu and Johnson (2007).

Keywords: Life expectancy; health shock; long-run economic growth

JEL-codes: I10; J11; O40

19 pages, October 16, 2013

Full text files

dpbe16_2013.pdf PDF-file Full text

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Lene Holbæk ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2018-04-30 13:31:04.