Education and Longevity

Date
2022-04-19
Authors
Orazem, Peter
King, Elizabeth M.
Mainul Hoque, Mohammad
Montenegro, Claudio E.
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Springer Nature Switzerland AG
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Economics
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Economics
Abstract
Around 1700, a remarkable increase in life expectancy began in Europe and North America that spreads to other parts of the world, eventually adding 48 years to expected length of life. The persistent increase in longevity was a departure from centuries of stagnation at a steady-state equilibrium characterized by short lifespans lived at or below subsistence. This chapter reviews the antecedents to that increase in life expectancy including an agricultural revolution that increased average caloric consumption and health, an industrial revolution that increased income, and a human capital revolution that increased the capacity to produce and grow. It will be shown that increases in life expectancy led to rising investments in human capital, and that increased human capital had feedback effects on improved health. This virtuous cycle between health and education represents part of the endogenous growth mechanism that has increased life expectancy, education, income, and quality of life around the world, and offers a path out of poverty for the countries yet to develop.
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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of a chapter published as Orazem, Peter F., Elizabeth M. King, Mohammad Mainul Hoque, and Claudio E. Montenegro. "Education and Longevity." In: Zimmermann K.F. (eds) Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Springer, Cham. (2022): 1-32. The final authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57365-6_290-1. Copyright 2022 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Posted with permission.
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