Wealth from Health: Linking Social Investments to Earnings in Latin America

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CODE: B-126
EDITOR(s): Savedoff, William D. , Schultz, T. Paul
PUBLISHED: December 2000
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor



There is common sense in the notions that healthier people are more productive and that wealthier people can obtain things that make them healthier. Investigating the strength of these associations, Wealth from Health asks whether investments in health also affect productivity and how public policy can influence this relationship. These questions are probed through a series of Latin American case studies, using household survey data on individuals to analyze the relationship between efforts to improve health on the one hand, and the potential impact of health status on individual hourly earnings on the other. By analyzing these relationships together-health determinants and the impact of health on earnings-it becomes possible to assess the effectiveness of particular strategies for improving health status and to see the critical importance of health as a component of "human capital."

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