Some Economic Aspects of Mortality in Developed Countries

  • Victor R. Fuchs
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)

Abstract

Three types of data — cross-section within countries, cross-section among countries, and some time series — reveal that the traditional negative association between mortality and income per capita is disappearing in developed countries. The marginal contribution of medical care to life expectancy, holding the state of the art constant, is also very small. Improvements in medical science (primarily new drugs), however, have had significant effects during the period 1930–60.

Current differences in mortality across, and within, developed countries are primarily related to ‘life-style’ — diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, psychological stress, etc. The ‘demand’ for a long life, and the ability to ‘produce’ it, differ greatly among individuals and populations. A major research task is to gain a better understanding of these demand and production functions.

Keywords

Europe Leukemia Income Tuberculosis Penicillin 

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Copyright information

© The International Economic Association 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor R. Fuchs
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral SciencesNew York UniversityPalo AltoUSA

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