What does education do to our health ?

Wim Groot, Henriëtte Maassen van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Education and health are the two most important characteristics of human capital. Their economic value lies in the effects they have on productivity: both education and health make individuals more productive. Education and health have a considerable impact on individual well-being, as well. The wealth of nations is to a large extent determined by the educational attainment and the health status of its population. According to the 2003 Human Development Report, ““Education, health, nutrition and water and sanitation complement each other, with investments in any one contributing to better outcomes in the others”” (UN, 2003, p. 85). The positive association between education and health can be partly attributed to differences in income between countries. Health and prosperity are positively related. For example, Behrman and Rosenzweig (2004) show that there is a strong negative association between the log of purchasing power parity (adjusted by GDP per worker) and the percentage of low birthweight babies. Low income countries have fewer resources to spend on publicly financed education and health care. Most individuals in low income countries also do not have the means to purchase education and health care themselves. On the other hand, investing in education and health provide the way out of poverty and are necessary conditions for increasing standards of living.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Copenhagen Symposium
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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  • by wim groot and
  • henriëtte maassen van den
  • to our health
  • what does education do

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