Health and the Evolution of Welfare Across Brazilian Municipalities

31 Pages Posted: 9 May 2007

See all articles by Rodrigo R. Soares

Rodrigo R. Soares

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: May 2007

Abstract

This paper describes the pattern of reductions in mortality across Brazilian municipalities between 1970 and 2000, and analyzes its causes and consequences. It shows that, as in the international context, the relationship between income and life expectancy has shifted consistently in the recent past. But reductions in mortality within Brazil have been more homogeneously distributed than across countries. We use a compensating differentials approach to estimate the value of the observed reductions in mortality. The results suggest that gains in life expectancy had a welfare value equivalent to 39% of the growth in income per capita, being therefore responsible for 28% of the overall improvement in welfare. We then use a dynamic panel to conduct a preliminary assessment of the potential determinants of these gains. We show that improvements in education, access to water, and sanitation seem to be important determinants of the dimension of changes in life expectancy not correlated with income.

Keywords: mortality, life expectancy, value of life, inequality, health

JEL Classification: I12, I31, I38, J17, O15, O54

Suggested Citation

Soares, Rodrigo R., Health and the Evolution of Welfare Across Brazilian Municipalities (May 2007). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2771, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=984896

Rodrigo R. Soares (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics ( email )

Rua Itapeva 474 s.1202
São Paulo, São Paulo 01332-000
Brazil

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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