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Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros

Estudos do GEMF, N.º 04 de 2010


Health Status Determinants in the OECD Countries.

A Panel Data Approach with Endogenous Regressors

Ana Poças

Polytechnic Institute of Guarda

Elias Soukiazis
Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra and GEMF

The purpose of this study is to analyse the determinants of life expectancy as proxy for health status of the OECD countries‘ population. A production function of health is used to explain life expectancy at birth for total and ageing population and according to gender. Socio-economic factors, health resources and lifestyles are defined as the main determinants of heath status. The estimation approach assumes that income and education are endogenous and a panel data approach is used to control for this problem. Our evidence shows that income, education and health resources (through consultations) are important factors affecting positively life expectancy and risky lifestyles (tobacco and alcohol consumption) are harmful to health. However there are differences between males and females. Income and lifestyles are the major determinants affecting men‘s health while for women education and the effective use of health services (through consultations) explain mostly life expectancy both at birth and late age.

JEL Classification: H51; I12; I18; C23

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