Journal of Economics and Development, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 254-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/JED-06-2020-0078
Effect of health outcome on economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa: a system generalized method of moment approach
Some progress have been made over time in improving health conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). There are, however, contradicting reports on the relationship between health outcomes and economic growth in the region. The paper aimed at assessing the effect of health outcome on economic growth in SSA.
Data for 41 countries from 2000 to 2018 were obtained from WDI and WGI and analyzed using system generalized method of moment (sGMM) which is appropriate for the present scenario. AR(1) and AR(2) tests were used to assess the validity of the model while Sargan and Hansen tests were adopted to examine the validity of the instrumental variables. The robustness of the estimation was confirmed using the pooled OLS and fixed effect regression.
Health outcome (proxied by life expectancy), lagged GDP per capita, capital formation, labor force (LF), health expenditure (HE), foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade openness (TOP) significantly affected economic growth emphasizing the importance of health in the process of economic growth in the region. AR(1) and AR(2) tests for serial correlation and Sargan/Hansen tests confirmed the validity of the estimated model and the instrumental variables respectively. Robustness of the GMM results was established from the pooled OLS and the fixed effect model results.
Improvement in the national health system possibly through the widespread adoption of National Health Insurance, increase government spending on healthcare alongside increased beneficial trade and ease of doing business to facilitate investment were recommended to enhance.
The study used up-to-date data with appropriate methodology.
Keywords:Life expectancy, Economic growth, System generalized method of moment, Sub-Saharan Africa