USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Economic development -- Health aspects -- Latin America

View the PDF document Too sick to progress? : economic impacts of non-communicable diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean
Author: Frank, Latecia
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Chronic diseases -- Economic aspects -- Latin America, Chronic diseases -- Economic aspects -- Caribbean Area, Economic development -- Health aspects -- Latin America, Economic development -- Health aspects -- Caribbean Area
Date: 2014
Call No.: Pac HD 5115 .2 .L29 F73 2014
BRN: 1201272
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: This thesis examines the link between economic growth and mortality due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It quantifies the annual macroeconomic loss of output per worker in ten Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries during 1997-2009 resulting from increasing mortality caused by cancers, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and chronic respiratory diseases. The sample countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Both country and period selections were solely based on consistent availability of data. Estimates are done in a panel growth regression framework which also controls for endogeneity. Use of the two-stage least squares (2SLS), instrumental variables generalized method of moments (IV-GMM), dynamic panel data (DPD), and the fixed effects (FE) estimators shows that higher rates of deaths caused by the four NCDs lowered the level of per capita income of the sample economies during the period under investigation. During this time, approximately 8.5 million lives were lost due to these NCDs. This resulted in an estimated annual loss of US$2.3 billion. The results of this thesis show that an annual reduction of the NCD mortality ratio by one percentage point is likely to result in an increase of per capita income ranging from 0.03 percent to 0.05 percent. Conversely, use of the same estimators suggests that there were negative though statistically insignificant effects of NCD related deaths on the growth of per capita income. However, there has been an upward trend in these deaths in the sample countries. Based on the findings of this thesis, this increase is in part attributed to the growing prevalence of NCD risk factors and the high out-of-pocket costs of health care. If the current trends continue to lower incomes there will likely be an adverse effect on economic growth as the loss of labour and human capital continue to accumulate.
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