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Health cycles and health transitions

Chakraborty, Shankha; Papageorgiou, Chris; Perez Sebastian, Fidel


Shankha Chakraborty

Chris Papageorgiou

Fidel Perez Sebastian


We study the dynamics of poverty and health in a model of endogenous growth and rational health behavior. Population health depends on the prevalence of infectious diseases that can be avoided through costly prevention. The incentive to do so comes from the negative effects of ill health on the quality and quantity of life. The model can generate a poverty trap where infectious diseases cycle between high and low prevalence. These cycles originate from the rationality of preventive behavior in contrast to the predator-prey dynamics of epidemiological models. We calibrate the model to reflect sub-Saharan Africa's recent economic recovery and analyze policy alternatives. Unconditional transfers are found to improve welfare relative to conditional health-based transfers: at low income levels, income growth (quality of life) is valued more than improvements to health (quantity of life).


Chakraborty, S., Papageorgiou, C., & Perez Sebastian, F. (2016). Health cycles and health transitions. Macroeconomic dynamics, 20(1), 189-213.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Acceptance Date Feb 4, 2014
Online Publication Date Jun 4, 2014
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Feb 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Macroeconomic dynamics
Print ISSN 1365-1005
Electronic ISSN 1469-8056
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 189-213
Keywords Cycles, Infectious disease, Economic epidemiology, Morbidity, Mortality, Conditional transfers, Unconditional transfers
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: Macroeconomic dynamics, 2016, v.20, issue 1.


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