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Standards of living and health status: the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain in sub-Saharan Africa

Keita, Moussa (2013): Standards of living and health status: the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Abstract

Using a panel dataset on 45 sub-Saharan Africa countries (SSA), this study analyzes empirically the socioeconomic determinants of life expectancy gain (considered as an indicator of global health improvement at country level). In order to treat heterogeneity and endogeneity concerns, we use multiple estimation methods including pooling, fixed-effect, long difference and system GMM. Our analyses show that income is critical for health enhancement. Particularly, we find that GDP per capita is strongly and positively correlated with life expectancy gain. Furthermore, variables such as adult literacy, access to improved sanitation and safe water appear positively correlated health gain. In contrast the high incidence of extreme poverty is negatively correlated with heath gain while the impact of income inequality seems ambiguous.

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