Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 1549–1584 | Cite as

Health and economic development—evidence from the introduction of public health care

  • Anthony Strittmatter
  • Uwe Sunde
Original Paper


This paper investigates the causal effect of improvements in health on economic development using a long panel of European countries. Identification is based on the particular timing of the introduction of public health care systems in different countries, which is the random outcome of a political process. We document that the introduction of public health care systems had a significant immediate effect on health dynamics proxied by infant mortality and crude death rates. The findings suggest that health improvements had a positive effect on growth in income per capita and aggregate income.


Health Mortality Economic development Growth Public health systems care 

JEL Classification

I10 J10 O11 N13 

Supplementary material

148_2012_450_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (264 kb)
(PDF 257 KB)
148_2012_450_MOESM2_ESM.tex (73 kb)
(TEX 73.4 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Platz der Alten SynagogeFreiburgGermany
  3. 3.University of MunichMunichGermany
  4. 4.IZABonnGermany
  5. 5.CEPRLondonUK

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