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Impact on Economic Growth of Investing in Maternal-Newborn Health

Wilhelmson, Karl LU and Gerdtham, Ulf LU (2006) In Moving Towards Universal Coverage. Issues in Maternal-Newborn Health and Poverty 3.
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the evidence of the impact on economic growth of investments in maternal--newborn health (MNH). The methodology used for the review includes a systematic search for published literature in relevant electronic databases. In the paper, we review five studies: four empirical and one theoretical. One of the empirical papers measures health by infant mortality. The study finds that a 1/1000-point reduction in the infant mortality rate leads to an increase in the level of State Domestic Product by Indian Rs 2.70 and an increase in the average growth rate per year of 0.145%. Similar results are reported for other health measures in other studies. Our main conclusion, however, is that the... (More)
The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the evidence of the impact on economic growth of investments in maternal--newborn health (MNH). The methodology used for the review includes a systematic search for published literature in relevant electronic databases. In the paper, we review five studies: four empirical and one theoretical. One of the empirical papers measures health by infant mortality. The study finds that a 1/1000-point reduction in the infant mortality rate leads to an increase in the level of State Domestic Product by Indian Rs 2.70 and an increase in the average growth rate per year of 0.145%. Similar results are reported for other health measures in other studies. Our main conclusion, however, is that the area lacks research and that considerably more is needed before any advice can be provided to policy-makers about the contribution to growth of investments in MNH. Specifically, first and foremost, studies are needed that explicitly analyse the impact of MNH on level and growth of output. Second, we suggest the use of more comprehensive MNH measures that consider the health of both mothers and newborns and aspects of ill-health other than death, such as measures of quality of life, functional limitations, mental health and sickness absenteeism. Third, estimates of the effects of MNH on growth need to be controlled for other health dimensions, i.e. aspects that may confound the impact of MNH. Fourth, studies are needed of the effects on determinants of growth in order to understand better the links between MNH and growth. Fifth, studies based on smaller geographical areas within countries and longer time series are needed, in order to obtain more precise estimates and also better estimates of the long-term growth paths. Finally, we suggest compilation of other data sets on microeconomic data, for example, to study effects at firm level of MNH on labour productivity through inability to work, disability, sick days, etc. (Less)
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author
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organization
publishing date
type
Book/Report
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Delivery of Health Care, Developing Countries, Recommendations, Cost Benefit Analysis, Literature Review, Infant, Women in Development, Pregnant Women, Policymakers, Health Insurance, Economic Factors, Poverty, Maternal-Child Health Services, WHOHealth Policy, Neonatal Diseases and Abnormalities, Quantitative Evaluation, Evaluation, Youth, Age Factors, Population Characteristics, Demographic Factors, Population, Economic Development, Administrative Personnel, Organization and Administration, Financial Activities, Socioeconomic Factors, Primary Health Care, Political Factors, Sociocultural Factors, Policy, Diseases, Organizations, International Agencies, Health, Health Services, UN
in
Moving Towards Universal Coverage. Issues in Maternal-Newborn Health and Poverty
volume
3
pages
32 pages
publisher
World Health Organization
report number
3
ISSN
1990-5130
ISBN
92 4 159450 0
978 92 4 159450 9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Social Epidemiology (013241850), Psychiatry/Primary Care/Public Health (013240500)
id
2be1ce50-10c3-4d04-b0ca-626cd70dd280 (old id 1136300)
alternative location
http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/universal_coverage/issue3/mnhoneconomicgrowth_wihl_gerd3.pdf
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:34:40
date last changed
2019-03-08 02:53:57
@techreport{2be1ce50-10c3-4d04-b0ca-626cd70dd280,
  abstract     = {The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the evidence of the impact on economic growth of investments in maternal--newborn health (MNH). The methodology used for the review includes a systematic search for published literature in relevant electronic databases. In the paper, we review five studies: four empirical and one theoretical. One of the empirical papers measures health by infant mortality. The study finds that a 1/1000-point reduction in the infant mortality rate leads to an increase in the level of State Domestic Product by Indian Rs 2.70 and an increase in the average growth rate per year of 0.145%. Similar results are reported for other health measures in other studies. Our main conclusion, however, is that the area lacks research and that considerably more is needed before any advice can be provided to policy-makers about the contribution to growth of investments in MNH. Specifically, first and foremost, studies are needed that explicitly analyse the impact of MNH on level and growth of output. Second, we suggest the use of more comprehensive MNH measures that consider the health of both mothers and newborns and aspects of ill-health other than death, such as measures of quality of life, functional limitations, mental health and sickness absenteeism. Third, estimates of the effects of MNH on growth need to be controlled for other health dimensions, i.e. aspects that may confound the impact of MNH. Fourth, studies are needed of the effects on determinants of growth in order to understand better the links between MNH and growth. Fifth, studies based on smaller geographical areas within countries and longer time series are needed, in order to obtain more precise estimates and also better estimates of the long-term growth paths. Finally, we suggest compilation of other data sets on microeconomic data, for example, to study effects at firm level of MNH on labour productivity through inability to work, disability, sick days, etc.},
  author       = {Wilhelmson, Karl and Gerdtham, Ulf},
  institution  = {World Health Organization},
  isbn         = {92 4 159450 0},
  issn         = {1990-5130},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  series       = {Moving Towards Universal Coverage. Issues in Maternal-Newborn Health and Poverty},
  title        = {Impact on Economic Growth of Investing in Maternal-Newborn Health},
  url          = {http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/universal_coverage/issue3/mnhoneconomicgrowth_wihl_gerd3.pdf},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2006},
}