Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #06021


Health production and supply functions based on models for productive households are established. Data for 18 high income countries over 1971-2001 are used in the empirical analysis. In the health production function, mortality from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is positively related to inputs of calories and sweeteners but not to input of fat or to national health care. In the health supply function, a high real price of food, real wage rate and non-labor income, a modest level of socialized medicine, and a low labor force participation rate decrease mortality. A cheap food policy erodes gains from reduced smoking and better treatments for high cholesterol levels and hypertension that have occurred over the last three decades.

JEL Classification

D13, I12, I18, Q18

File Format



37 pages