Note: I would like to thank Nick Crafts for all his help, Tim Leunig for his generous and invaluable support with this article, and as ever, Frank Hickson. Thanks also to two very helpful anonymous referees. Financial support from the Economic and Social Research Council and the British Academy is gratefully acknowledged.
Notes and Comments
The GDP Value of Twentieth-Century Health Improvements in Developed Economies: Initial Estimates for England
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2012
© 2012 The Author. Review of Income and Wealth © International Association for Research in Income and Wealth 2012
Review of Income and Wealth
Volume 60, Issue 2, pages 385–399, June 2014
How to Cite
Hickson, K. (2014), The GDP Value of Twentieth-Century Health Improvements in Developed Economies: Initial Estimates for England. Review of Income and Wealth, 60: 385–399. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.2012.00524.x
- Issue published online: 8 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2012
- Economic and Social Research Council
- British Academy
- extended national income;
- twentieth century
Economists are aware that conventional measures of national income do not capture everything that is important to individuals. In particular, the value of huge improvements in health over the twentieth century has gone uncalculated. Usher and Nordhaus have emphasized the virtues of including mortality improvements in some form of extended national income measure. This article therefore sets out a methodology that can be used to calculate the value of mortality and morbidity improvements. The results for England indicate that the value of health improvements in developed economies have added at least 0.3 percent per annum to twentieth-century GDP growth rates. The results demonstrate that those interested in understanding improvements in economic welfare need to pay much more attention to improvements in health.