The Effects of Improved Health on Productivity Through Education.

by I. Leveson, D. Ullman, G. Wassall


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An examination of the relationships between health status and educational attainment, achievement, and absenteeism. Earlier materials on absenteeism, school dropouts, and armed forces rejectees are examined, and new data from a study of school health records and armed forces rejection are presented. Some rough, overall calculations are made of the effects of health on productivity through education, such as: (1) A minimum estimate of productivity losses through dropping out of school for health reasons is $3 to $4 billion for employed persons. (2) Absenteeism from school results in a loss of output of $2 billion. Much needs to be done in this area of research, since omission of productivity effects in estimates of the value of improved health biases our thinking about resource allocation away from medical care toward other investments. 19 pp. Ref.

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