Do Wealthier Countries Life Longer?

Presenter: Ni Made Sukartini (UNAIR)

The purpose of this study is empirically investigating one of health indicator i.e. life expectancy among countries during the las twenty years. It is generally accepted that developed countries luckily enjoyed longer life expectancy due to ability to afford better health input.  This pre-assumption need to be proven as recently various diseases especially the non-communicable type diseases found as silence killer diseases. Younger and productive age are found with higher risk due to changing life style. World Health Report (WHR) 2020 reports that there are significance gains in life expectancy among less developed countries, especially among African countries. It is interesting to investigate which channels contributed for gains in life expectancy, either income channel or progress in health inputs.

Data and Methodology This study utilizes macro data from World Bank, i.e. World Development Indicators (WDI) and World Health Organization, i.e. World Health Report (WHR). Longitudinal data for period 1990-2018 is selected for the analysis. Panel regression with simple dis-aggregation in income level and region specific is elaborated in the analyzes.

Preliminary Result Preliminary result of this study indicates that: (i) expected life expectancy positively associated with aggregate GDP; but it is negative and highly significant with per capita GDP; (ii) expected life expectancy also positively associated with health public expenditure, but negatively with private or household health expenditure; (iii) deep of food deficit is found as robust estimator for shorter life expectancy among the poorer countries.  It can be inferred from this preliminary result that it is individual characteristic and health behavior that better explained variation of life expectancy among countries. Health promotion and transparent health financing system can be encouraged in selected countries to achieve not only longer life but also life with better health quality.