The Determinants of Health Status: A Cross-Country Analysis

Rehana Siddiqui, Mir Annice Mahmood


An analysis of health status is an important aspect of human
resource development. Improvements in health do not only improve the
productivity of the labour force, but they also help to improve the
impact of other forms of human capital formation, e.g. education. In
most developing countries health status is difficult to determine as the
question arises as to what measures should be used as indicators of
health status. At a general level most of the demand or production
function considerations are obtained by aggregating over the micro
factors. I However, in the case of health status micro and macro
measures may not be perfectly correlated; In most cross-country studies
life expectancy at birth or the infant mortality rate are taken as
indicators of health status. Other measures which can be used to
indicate such improvements in health status are age and diseasespecifrc
mortality or morbidity and life expectancy. However, the improvement in
health status can be observed most obviously from increases in life
expectancy which is a better measure for cross country comparison than
age and diseasespecific mortality or morbidity, which are more difficult
to compare at the international level.

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