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Economic Growth and Health Status in India

27th May 2009 1pm, University of Southampton 58/3017

K.S. James, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore

Whether faster economic growth in the country led to simultaneous improvement in health status of the population in India? Although one would expect a direct answer to this question, the relationship between economic change and health status often found to be complex necessitating in-depth analysis. The relationship between income and health status is well known for several decades. The evidence of significant quantitative association between many measures of economic status and a variety of health measures are abundant from number of countries of the world irrespective of developed or developing. As such the economic changes should also lead to progress in health front. However, of late it has also been argued that economic reforms which is the leading cause of accelerated economic growth and increase in per capita income is adversely affecting the status of the people. This lack of relationship emanates partly due to the increasing inequality during the period of economic growth in many countries. It seems inequality even after controlling for income levels have an adverse impact on health status. This paper looks into this issue taking an example of the progress in some selected health measures from India within the context of income and income inequality framework. Both time series and cross section data is used for the analysis.