Presentation Title

Economic and Non-Economic Determinants of Life Expectancy

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 367

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

This paper examines country-level data to determine the effects of several economic and non-economic factors on average life expectancy. Life expectancy is an important topic because it is an indicator of a country’s level of economic and social development. People living in developed countries tend to have a longer average lifespans as compared to the residents of developing countries. Owing to the connection between longevity and development, understanding the myriad factors that contribute to this phenomenon is of importance to any number of disciplines, including demography, economics, political science, and sociology. Further, there is obvious importance of this topic for public policy. As suggested above, this research is focused on determining the relationships between average life expectancy at birth and several potential determinants using country-level data. Similarly, the determinants of health-adjusted life expectancy are also examined. The empirical analysis employs linear and logarithmic frameworks and the data set represents 187 countries. A positive and statistically significant relationship is found between life expectancy at birth and GDP per capita; however, the magnitude of this relationship is greater for developing countries as compared to developed countries. Furthermore, positive and statistically significant relationships are found between life expectancy and education, health care expenditure as a percent of GDP, and economic freedom. Urbanity is not significantly related with average life expectancy at birth. Finally, my results are generally consistent with previous studies that have found negative influences of alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, and pollution on average life expectancy.

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Nov 12th, 3:00 PM Nov 12th, 3:15 PM

Economic and Non-Economic Determinants of Life Expectancy

HUB 367

This paper examines country-level data to determine the effects of several economic and non-economic factors on average life expectancy. Life expectancy is an important topic because it is an indicator of a country’s level of economic and social development. People living in developed countries tend to have a longer average lifespans as compared to the residents of developing countries. Owing to the connection between longevity and development, understanding the myriad factors that contribute to this phenomenon is of importance to any number of disciplines, including demography, economics, political science, and sociology. Further, there is obvious importance of this topic for public policy. As suggested above, this research is focused on determining the relationships between average life expectancy at birth and several potential determinants using country-level data. Similarly, the determinants of health-adjusted life expectancy are also examined. The empirical analysis employs linear and logarithmic frameworks and the data set represents 187 countries. A positive and statistically significant relationship is found between life expectancy at birth and GDP per capita; however, the magnitude of this relationship is greater for developing countries as compared to developed countries. Furthermore, positive and statistically significant relationships are found between life expectancy and education, health care expenditure as a percent of GDP, and economic freedom. Urbanity is not significantly related with average life expectancy at birth. Finally, my results are generally consistent with previous studies that have found negative influences of alcohol consumption, tobacco consumption, and pollution on average life expectancy.