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Causal Relationship Between Indicators of Human Health, the Environment and Socioeconomic Variables for the OECD Countries

Mariam, Yohannes (1999): Causal Relationship Between Indicators of Human Health, the Environment and Socioeconomic Variables for the OECD Countries.

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There has been a lot of debate regarding the impact of emissions of pollutants on human health and the environment. Epidemiological studies tend to show the impact of increased ambient concentrations of pollutants on increased hospital admissions, mortality, morbidity, respiratory problems, etc. Without controlled experiments that compare people who are exposed to contaminants to those who are not, it is impossible to predict the causes and effects with certainty. Nevertheless, estimates of human and environmental health benefits from improved air quality indicate that there are associations between ambient concentrations of contaminants, human health and environmental impacts. The present study examines the linkages between human health, environmental quality, and emission of pollutants and selected socioeconomic variables for selected OECD regions. Path or causal models will be constructed using health, socioeconomic and environmental parameters to determine the direction of causal relationships, their magnitude and possible implication for public policy making. This analysis will be performed for the OECD countries, and selected regions of the OECD (North America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe). Comparative analysis of the relationships between human health, socioeconomic and environmental variables among the OECD countries will indicate, among other things, i) whether or not environmental quality is an important determinant of human health, ii) whether or not spending on health care system is significantly influenced by indicators of health status that are included by environmental variables, and iii) which socioeconomic variables are significantly associated with indicators of human and the environment health.

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