Health, Quality of Life and GDP: An ASEAN Experience

  •  R. Ramesh Rao    
  •  Rohana Jani    
  •  Puvanesvaran Sanjivee    


Governments all over the world would like to improve the well being of its citizen. One aspects of well being can be seen through the quality of life (QoL) a person enjoys. Measuring and determining what is QoL is not an easy task. In this paper, using per-capita income as the yardstick for QOL, and the role of government through the way it spend its public money would be able to tell how ASEAN governments’ expenditure influences the QoL. Particularly government expenditure on health signifies the commitment of a government in improving the QoL. QoL can also be seen through the availability of health care in country. When health care improves, life span and earning abilities will raise too. It is the government’s responsibility in providing the best health care to the people. Government’s commitment can be gauged through the amount it spends on these items. At the same time government spending would bring spillover effects in terms of raising per-capita income, which reflects the QoL. Using data on government expenditure of ASEAN countries for the last 15 years, it would be possible to determine on what extent expenditures on health do influence the per-capita income. Initial findings reveal that the impact of both these government expenditures on per-capita income is not the same for all the ASEAN countries.

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