Are natural resources bad for health?
Sommaire de l'article
The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine whether economic dependence on various natural resources is associated with lower investment in health, after controlling for countries' geographical and historical fixed effects, corruption, autocratic regimes, income levels, and initial health status. Employing panel data for 118 countries for the period 1990-2008, we find no compelling evidence in support of a negative effect of resources on healthcare spending and outcomes. On the contrary, higher dependence on agricultural exports is associated with higher healthcare spending, higher life expectancy, and lower diabetes rates. Similarly, healthcare spending increases with higher mineral intensity. Finally, more hydrocarbon resource rents are associated with less diabetes and obesity rates. There is however evidence that public health provision relative to the size of the economy declines with greater hydrocarbon resource-intensity; the magnitude of this effect is less severe in non-democratic countries.