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J Comp Econ. 2010 Mar 1;38(1):17-33.

The Contribution of Population Health and Demographic Change to Economic Growth in China and India.

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Bloom, Canning, Liu, and Mahal are faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health. Hu is on the faculty of Tsinghua University (School of Public Policy and Management), and Yip is on the faculty of Oxford University.


We find that a cross-country model of economic growth successfully tracks the growth takeoffs in China and India. The major drivers of the predicted takeoffs are improved health, increased openness to trade, and a rising labor force-to-population ratio due to fertility decline. We also explore the effect of the reallocation of labor from low-productivity agriculture to the higher-productivity industry and service sectors. Including the money value of longevity improvements in a measure of full income reduces the gap between the magnitude of China's takeoff relative to India's due to the relative stagnation in life expectancy in China since 1980.

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