Effect of Socio-Economic Inequality in Health on Economic Growth in India

Kaushalendra Kumar, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Ashish Singh, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Faujdar Ram, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)
Abhishek Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

By constructing a cross-state panel data of fifteen major states of India for the period of 1983 to 2011, we examine the effects of inequality in health on economic growth in India. Health inequality is measured in terms of – Gini of per capita calorie intake (PCCI) as well as inequality in under-five child mortality; whereas economic growth is measured in terms of growth in per capita net state domestic product (PCNSDP). Our regression results indicate that a 10% decrease in health inequality when measured in terms of Gini of PCCI and under-five child mortality (after controlling for fertility rate, life expectancy, state and time fixed-effects and a number of other relevant factors) results in a 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively, increase in PCNSDP. Moreover our results also indicate that a 10% decline in under-Five child mortality experienced by the illiterate mothers is expected to increase productivity by 4.7% in India.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families