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HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Abstract : This dissertation investigates theoretically and empirically the interrelationships among population's health, environmental degradation and economic development, its consequences for developing countries, and some effective policy responses. The first part explores the association between health, environment, and inequalities. It firstly analyzes whether environmental degradation could be considered as an additional channel through which income inequality affects infant and child mortality (chapter 2). Theoretical and empirical investigations show that income inequality affects negatively air and water quality, and this in turn worsens population's health. Therefore, environmental degradation is an important channel through which income inequality affects population health. Then, it is shown that sulphur dioxide emission (SO2) and particulate matter (PM10) are in part responsible for the large disparities in infant and child mortalities between and within developing countries (chapter 3). In addition, we found that democratic institutions play the role of social protection by mitigating this effect for the poorest income classes and reducing the health inequality it provokes. The second part is devoted to the link among health, environment, and economic growth. The effect of health (global burden of disease, communicable disease, and malaria) on economic growth is assessed in Chapter 4. This chapter shows that health indicators, when correctly measured by the gap between current health status and an ideal health situation where the entire population lives to an advanced age, free of disease and disability, and when accurately instrumented have significant impact on economic performance. The consequences of these interrelationships on the convergence of poor countries towards their steady state are theoretically and empirically investigated in the last Chapter (chapter 5). It is found that environment degradation reduces the ability of poor countries to reach their own steady state, reinforcing our argument according to which environment quality improvement plays a considerable role in economic convergence process. Moreover, the degradation of air and water quality affects negatively economic performance, and health status remains an important channel through which environment degradation affects economic growth even if it is not alone. The Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis is also verified.
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Alassane Drabo. HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Economics and Finance. Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I, 2011. English. ⟨tel-00721112⟩

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