The Causal Effect of Health on Social and Economic Prosperity: Methods and Findings

"Socio-economic status (SES) and health go hand in hand: better off people tend to be in better health across the globe, within populations and over the life course. A critical review of both experimental and nonexperimental evidence indicates that, in some contexts, health has a causal impact on SES. Fetal health and health in early life appear to affect health and economic prosperity in later life. Changes in health during adulthood also affect work outcomes and wealth. Overall, the strongest evidence for a causal impact of health on economic success is reflected in the impact of improved nutrition on economic productivity. There is little scientific evidence on the dynamic interplay between health and behavioral choices that affect economic outcomes over the longer term."