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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Allen C. Goodman

Abstract

This dissertation explains output growth in nations using two different forms of economic capital (health and natural capital) in separate models under paper 1 and 2. In paper 1, income per worker’s growth in the emerging market economies and developing economies is estimated using health capital. Previous studies done on health capital and output growth have mostly focused on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and advanced economies, but I focused on emerging market economies and developing economies. I examined the association amongst health capital and economic growth in an augmented Solow Model, using total HEX per capita and GDP per worker as proxies for health capital and economic growth respectively. The finding suggests that there are long-run and two-way causality relationships between income and HEX. In the second paper, I examined output growth in developing economies using natural capital. Previous studies on natural capital have focused more on theoretical research than empirical research. I took a different route and focused on national level data on natural capita, using an augmented Solow Model with natural capital as an independent variable to predict economic growth. Natural capital per capita and GDP per worker are used as proxies for natural capital and economic growth respectively. The findings suggest that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between natural capital and economic growth, and a long-run relationship (co-integration) between the variables.

The policy implication of the study is that, health and natural capital plays an important role in the economic growth process. It is therefore important that national level governments give credence to investments in health and natural capital. Allocating more resources towards health care spending will improve health status of the population and increase productivity; and investing in natural capital would increase its sustainability and benefit both current and future generational needs.

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