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The contribution of increased life expectancy to economic development in twentieth century Japan

By Kerry Jane Hickson


This paper estimates the value of improved health in Japan over the twentieth century. By valuing the decline in the death rate and appending this to existing measures of GDP per capita it is possible to calculate health augmented GDP per capita growth and generate original results about the monetary value of improved life expectancy over the twentieth century in Japan. The findings of the paper indicate that this is a pertinent exercise because GDP per capita growth approximately doubles when it is extended to include increases in the life expectancy of the population of Japan. These results also provide a justification for the increase in health care service spending that was evident at the close of the twentieth century.Mortality Japan Economic development Twentieth century

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