Health-led growth since 1800

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10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that the marked reduction in the burden of parasitic and infectious diseases (PID) together with improved nutrition over the past two centuries in today's advanced countries has resulted in markedly improved physiological capital and cognitive skills and, consequently, in productivity advances. Using a unique annual dataset covering the period 1800–2011 for 21 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, it is found that health improvements can account for approximately a third of the productivity advances in the OECD countries since 1865, and that these improvements have been influential for enhancement in education, savings, innovations, life expectancy, and democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-1000
Number of pages40
JournalMacroeconomic Dynamics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Great Demographic Transition
  • IQ
  • Physiological Capital
  • Productivity Growth

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