3. Production of Health - Empirical Evidence

3. Production of Health - Empirical Evidence - Production...

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Production of Health ECO 381: Economics of Healthcare
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How do we measure health at the aggregate level? Mortality rates Infant mortality rates Subjective measures of self-reported health status (strong predictor of mortality) Incidence of diseases/illness Bed days or sick days Activities of daily living (ADLs)
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Mortality changes over time Very stable population/mortality rates over most of human history – sharp increase in recent years (since about 1700) Population increases are driven by: (1) increasing births; (2) reductions in mortality Birth rates high until industrialization – then they decline What drives increase in population is reduction in mortality
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Mortality changes over time 1 st century: world population about 300 million 1000 years later – population about the same 1700 – population about 600 million Within a single century, world population passed a billion, with next 5 billion within 200 years “..increase in population between 1900 and 1990 was four times as great as the increase during the whole previous history of humankind.”
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What role did medicine play historically? Chapter 5 in text – summary of literature on historical role of medical care Large declines in population mortality rates after 1750, but not because of medical interventions Nutrition and better sanitation played a major role in reducing mortality, but much remains unexplained
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