Health and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
It is generally acknowledged that health is a form of human capital and a critical factor in the economic growth process. In turn, health production is a major determinant of health outcomes. While the former relationship has been explored extensively for the developed countries, there are very few studies that have attempted to examine this relationship in developing countries, especially Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Furthermore, very few studies have examined the relationship between determinants of health, health outcomes and economic growth in SSA. This study takes up the challenge of examining this tripartite relationship for SSA countries. Using the Arellano-Bond Dynamic GMM technique for 40 SSA countries, alcohol consumption, urbanization and carbon emission were found to be statistically significant determinants of child mortality, while all these variables and food availability are significant determinants of life expectancy. On the other hand, none of the health indicators are significant determinants of economic growth in the region, pointing to the need to improve health outcomes for it to have a significant effect on growth. The findings should provoke immediate policy actions that will help control the deleterious effects of alcohol consumption on health, promote urban health infrastructure, and improve health indicators to better stimulate health-led economic growth in SSA.