The influence of health on economic growth from the perspective of sustainable development: a case of OECD countries

Pages181-194
Date17 April 2020
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/WJEMSD-09-2019-0071
Published date17 April 2020
AuthorSeda Yıldırım,Durmus Cagri Yildirim,Hande Calıskan
The influence of health on
economic growth from the
perspective of sustainable
development: a case of
OECD countries
Seda Yıldırım
Department of Business Administration, Tekirdag Namik Kemal University,
Tekirda
g, Turkey and
Tekirdag Namik Kemal University, Tekirda
g, Turkey, and
Durmus Cagri Yildirim and Hande Calıskan
Department of Economics, Tekirdag Namik Kemal University,
Tekirda
g, Turkey
Abstract
Purpose This study aims to explain the roleof health on economic growth for OECD countries in the context
of sustainable development. Accordingly, the study investigates the relationship between health and economic
growth in OECD countries.
Design/methodology/approach This study employed cluster analysis and econometric methods. By
cluster analysis, 12 OECD countries (France, Germany, Finland, Slovenia, Belgium, Portugal, Estonia, Czech
Republic, Hungary, South Korea, Poland and Slovakia) were classified into two clusters as high and low health
status through health indicators. For panel threshold analysis, the data included growth rates, life expectancy
at birth, export rates, population data, fixed capital investments, inflation and foreign direct investment for the
period of 19992016.
Findings The study determined two main clusters as countries with high health status (level) and low health
status (level), but there was no threshold effect in clusters. It was concluded that an increase in the life
expectancy at birth of countries with higher health status had no significant impact on economic growth.
However, the increase in the life expectancy at birth of countries with lower health status influenced economic
growth positively.
Research limitations/implications This study used data that including period of 19992016 for OECD
countries. In addition, the study used cluster analysis to determine health status of countries, and then panel
threshold analysis was preferred to explain significant relations.
Originality/value This study showed that the role of health on economic growth can change toward
country groups as higher and lower health status. It was proved that higher life expectancy can influence
economic growth positively in countries with worse or low health status. In this context, developing countries,
which try to achieve sustainable development, should improve their health status to achieve economic and
social development at the same time.
Keywords Health, Economic growth, Health indicators, Sustainable development, Clustering, Panel threshold
analysis
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Health issues and economic development are always popular themes in the literature.
Grossman (1999) determined that health was extended to long life and disease-free life, and it
Health and
economic
growth in
OECD countries
181
This study was derived from a paper that was presented in International Congress of Management,
Economy and Policy in Turkey, December 12, 2018.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
https://www.emerald.com/insight/2042-5961.htm
Received 8 September 2019
Revised 23 January 2020
Accepted 4 March 2020
WorldJournal of Entrepreneurship,
Managementand Sustainable
Development
Vol.16 No. 3, 2020
pp. 181-194
©Emerald PublishingLimited
2042-5961
DOI10.1108/WJEMSD-09-2019-0071

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