The global decline in ill health has not been met with greater prosperity. What are we to make of healthier and larger populations undercutting per capita economic progress? This column argues that early-life health changes do, in fact, have a huge effect on economic outcomes over the lifecycle. However, the jury is out on how we can best manage – and measure – the apparent play off between better health, higher populations, and poorer per capita economic outcomes.
Janet Currie, Tom Vogl, Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 00:00
Sarah Stewart-Brown, Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 00:00
Eating fruit and vegetables could be good for your mental health. This column explores the evidence, arguing that better surveys need to be carried out if we are to accurately establish causality. If we can understand how mental health is linked to diet, the benefits to the public – and those who decide public policy – could be huge.
Josep Pijoan-Mas, Víctor Ríos-Rull, Sunday, September 30, 2012 - 00:00
What explains differences in life expectancy at age 50? This column looks at the effect of wealth, education, and marital status. It finds that by far the most important factor is education, and explores what this might mean for policy.
Andreas Kuhn, Jean-Philippe Wuellrich, Josef Zweimüller , Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 00:00
While the retirement age in most developed countries is going up, this column looks at what happens when it goes down. In some countries, those who work in physically demanding jobs are demanding the right to retire earlier. This column finds that people should be careful what they wish for.
Lance Lochner, Monday, October 17, 2011 - 00:00
Given recent budget problems around the world, many governments have proposed sharp cuts to education. What are the likely long-run costs of these cuts? This column reviews a growing body of studies and concludes that crime rates are likely to increase, health and mortality are likely to deteriorate, and political and social institutions may suffer.
Martin Kocher, Friday, May 6, 2011 - 00:00
Is young people’s economic behaviour different from that of adults? Martin Kocher of the University of Munich talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his experimental research with children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 – and the implications for policy debates around smoking, drinking, drugs, obesity and other health and education issues. The interview was recorded at the annual congress of the European Economic Association in Glasgow in August 2010. [Also read the transcript.]
Jeremy D Goldhaber-Fiebert, Alan M Garber, Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 00:00
Obesity – and its related illnesses – endangers the lives of millions across the world. While healthier, more physically active lifestyles can mitigate this, the question remains of how policymakers can get people to switch from being couch potatoes to keen runner beans. This column presents new evidence suggesting that for many even a nudge may suffice.
Nicholas Bloom, Rebecca Homkes, Raffaella Sadun, John Van Reenen, Friday, December 17, 2010 - 00:00
Governments globally face a healthcare bill of around $7 trillion – and set to rise. This column argues that the need to focus on productivity has never been greater. With data from 1,200 hospitals across seven of the world’s wealthiest countries, it suggests that improvements in hospital management practices can help bring about improvements in hospital productivity as well.
Andrew E. Clark, Friday, April 2, 2010 - 00:00
Andrew Clark of the Paris School of Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research on the relationship between income and health, which examines changes in the health and health behaviours (smoking and drinking) of British people who win prizes in the national lottery. The interview was recorded at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference at the University of Surrey in March 2010.
Douglas Almond, Friday, November 6, 2009 - 00:00
Douglas Almond of Columbia University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about his research with Bhashkar Mazumder on women who are pregnant during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and the impact of fasting on their children – in terms of birth weight and the likelihood of being a boy or girl, as well as later life health outcomes. The interview was recorded at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation in Bristol (UK) in October 2009.
Mariacristina De Nardi, Eric French, John B. Jones, Saturday, February 14, 2009 - 00:00
The risks of living long and facing high medical expenses go a long way toward explaining elderly persons’ saving decisions. This column shows that the elderly, especially those with high lifetime incomes, keep large asset holdings to address these health concerns. Such behaviour is particularly strong in the US.
Michael Kremer, Friday, October 31, 2008 - 00:00
Michael Kremer of Harvard University talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about the potential of ‘advance market commitments’ for encouraging innovative new products in health and agriculture for developing countries. The interview was recorded at the headquarters of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London in October 2008 following a public discussion meeting on ‘Rising food prices: causes, consequences and remedies’.
Shin-Yi Chou, Jin-Tan Liu, Michael Grossman, Theodore J. Joyce, Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - 00:00
The positive correlation between heath and education is well known. Establishing the direction of causality, however, is as difficult as it is important. Good policy design cannot rely on correlations. Here is evidence from a unique natural experiment that parental education, especially of mothers, causes good health in children.