Economic consequences of (ill-) health

Health is affected by economic factors, but it may also exert an independent impact on relevant micro- and macroeconomic outcomes. To the extent that credible evidence confirms the latter impact, this may add to the argument for investing in health, in particular for policymakers outside of health care. However, producing such credible, causal evidence is fraught with methodological challenges.

CHE's work in this sub-theme focuses mainly on assessing the impact of (ill-)health, risk factors and health behaviours on economic outcomes at the individual or household level, e.g. in terms of wages, employment and working hours. 

Some work also assesses the impact of health on macroeconomic factors, e.g. the growth rate of national per capita income.


Research staff involved: Marc Suhrcke (Global Health team), Jessica Ochalek (TEEHTA team), Nigel Rice (HEDG team).

Example publications:

  • Goryakin Y, Rocco L, Suhrcke M, Roberts B, McKee M. The effect of health on labour supply in nine former Soviet Union countries. Eur J Health Econ. 2014 Jan;15(1):57-68. Download from Springer
  • Seuring T, Goryakin Y, Suhrcke M. The impact of diabetes on employment in Mexico. Econ Hum Biol. 2015 Jul;18:85-100.
  • Seuring T, Archangelidi O, Suhrcke M. The Economic Costs of Type 2 Diabetes: A Global Systematic Review. Pharmacoeconomics. 2015 Aug;33(8):811-31. Download from Springer
  • Suhrcke M, Urban D. Are cardiovascular diseases bad for economic growth? Health Econ. 2010 Dec;19(12):1478-96. Download from Wiley
  • Rocco L, Tanabe N, Suhrcke M, Fumagalli E (2011). Chronic diseases and labor market outcomes in Egypt. World Bank Policy Research Paper no. 5575.