DOI: 10.14704/nq.2018.16.5.1274

Public Health Expenditure and Labour Productivity: A Tentative Interpretation Based on the Science of Brain Cognition

Feng Wei, Yufeng Xia, Yu Kong


Based on the panel data of China's prefecture-level cities in 2007-2013, this paper empirically studies the relationship between public health expenditure and labour productivity from the perspective of brain cognition, and distinguishes non-agricultural labour productivity and agricultural labour productivity. Results show that public health expenditure is conducive to improving labour productivity and plays a significant role in promoting non-agricultural labour productivity and agricultural labour productivity through improving people’s cognitive abilities. Further analysis shows that public health expenditure has a greater impact on areas with lower economic development, which may be due to differences in brain cognition. Besides public health expenditure in the eastern region is negatively correlated with agricultural labour productivity, which may indicate that excessive health investment in rural areas in the eastern region squeezes out physical capital investment; in addition, this paper finds that the lack of infrastructure may make public health expenditure cannot function properly via brain cognition.


Public health Expenditure, Brain Cognition, Labour Productivity, China’s Prefecture-level Cities

Full Text:



Balarajan Y, Selvaraj S, Subramanian SV. Health care and equity in India. The Lancet 2011; 377(9764):505-15.

Broersma L, Oosterhaven J. Regional labor productivity in the Netherlands: Evidence of agglomeration and congestion effects. Journal of Regional Science 2009; 49(3):483-511.

Cao KH, Birchenall JA. Agricultural productivity, structural change, and economic growth in post-reform china. Journal of Development Economics 2013; 104(3): 165-80.

Ciccone A, Hall RE. Productivity and the density of economic activity. American Economic Review 1996; 86(1): 54-70.

Clark M, Dibenedetti D, Perez V. Cognitive dysfunction and work productivity in major depressive disorder. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research 2016; 16(4): 455-63.

Du L, Hanley A, Wei C. Estimating the marginal abatement cost curve of co2, emissions in china: provincial panel data analysis. Energy Economics 2015; 48: 217-229.

Färe R, Grosskopf S, Norris M. Productivity growth, technical progress, and efficiency change in industrialized countries: reply. American Economic Review 1997; 87(5): 1040-44.

Gong LT, Li HY, Wang DH. Health investment, physical capital accumulation, and economic growth. China Economic Review 2012; 23(4): 1104-19.

Gregory SM, Parker B, Thompson PD. Physical activity, cognitive function, and brain health: what is the role of exercise training in the prevention of dementia?. Brain Sciences 2012; 2(4): 684-708.

Hillman CH, Erickson KI, Kramer AF. Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuro Science 2008; 9(1): 58-65.

Hyodo K, Dan I, Kyutoku Y, Suwabe K, Byun K. The association between aerobic fitness and cognitive function in older men mediated by frontal lateralization. Neuroimage 2016; 125: 291-300.

Jun Z, Guiying W, Jipeng Z. The Estimation of China's provincial capital stock: 1952—2000 [J]. Economic Research Journal. 2004;10(1):35-44. (In Chinese)

Kumar A, Kober B. Urbanization, human capital, and cross-country productivity differences. Economics Letters 2012; 117(1): 14-17.

Lai M, Wang H, Zhu S. Double-edged effects of the technology gap and technology spillovers: evidence from the Chinese industrial sector. China Economic Review 2009; 20(3): 414-24.

Lin HL, Li HY, Yang CH. Agglomeration and productivity: firm-level evidence from China's textile industry. China Economic Review 2011; 22(3): 313-29.

Liu X. Agglomeration economies and labour productivity: evidence from Chinese urban panel data. The Journal of Quantitative & Technical Economics 2009; 26(7): 109-19. (In Chinese)

Liu XH, Wang CG. Does foreign direct investment facilitate technological progress?: Evidence from Chinese industries. Research Policy 2003; 32(6): 945-53.

Matsuyama K. Agricultural productivity, comparative advantage, and economic growth. Journal of Economic Theory 1992; 58(2):317-34.

Najarzadeh R, Rahimzadeh F, Reed M. Does the internet increase labour productivity? Evidence from a cross-country dynamic panel. Journal of Policy Modeling 2014; 36(6): 986-93.

OECD Data. Labour productivity and utilization 2017; ductivity-and-utilisation.htm.

Olaf VDK, Nico V, Jun KT. Are health care inequalities unfair? A study on public attitudes in 23 countries. International Journal for Equity in Health 2016; 15(1): 1-8.

Pan J, Lei XY, Liu GE. Does health insurance lead to better health?. Economic Research Journal 2013; 48(4): 130-42. (In Chinese)

Pontifex MB, Kamijo K, Scudder MR, Raine LB, Khan NA, Hemrick B, Evans EM, Castelli DM, Frank KA, Hillman CH. V. The differential association of adiposity and fitness with cognitive control in preadolescent children. Monographs of the society for Research in Child Development 2014; 79(4): 72-92.

Research group on China’s economic growth. China’s long-term growth path, efficiency, and potential growth rate. Economic Research Journal 2012; 47(11): 4-17. (In Chinese)

Schultz TW. Investment in human capital. The American Economic Review 1961; 51(1): 1-17.

Shan HJ. Reestimating the capital stock of China: 1952-2006. The Journal of Quantitative & Technical Economics 2008; 25(10): 17-31. (In Chinese)

Smoluk HJ, Andrews BH. A prerequisite for meaningful state economic performance comparisons: adjusting for population density. Annals of Regional Science 2005; 39(2): 253-72.

Van Zon A, Muysken J. Health and endogenous growth. Journal of Health Economics 2001; 20(2): 169-85.

Vijverberg WPM, Fu FC, Vijverberg CPC. Public infrastructure as a determinant of productive performance in China. Journal of Productivity Analysis 2011; 36(1): 91-111.

Wagstaff A, Yip W, Lindelow M, Hsiao WC. China's health system and its reform: a review of recent studies. Health Economics 2009; 18(S2), S7-S23.

Wang QW, Zhou P, Zhao ZY, Shen N. Energy efficiency and energy saving potential in china: a directional meta-frontier DEA approach. Sustainability 2014; 6(8), 5476-92.

Wang XL, Fan G. Analysis on the regional disparity in China and the influential factors. Economic Research Journal 2004; 1: 33-44. (In Chinese)

Wei Z, Hao R. The role of human capital in china's total factor productivity growth: a cross-province analysis. Developing Economies 2011; 49(1): 1–35.

WHO. Universal health coverage (UHC) 2016; fs395/en.

Wu H. The analysis of influence factors of Chinese urban labour productivity-Based on the panel data of 286 cities. Economic survey 2017; 34(1): 14-19. (In Chinese)

Yao SJ, Zhang ZY. On regional inequality and diverging clubs: a case study of contemporary china. Journal of Comparative Economics 2001; 29(3): 466-84.

Yuan FH. Structural accelerating and structural decelerating in the long run growth: an exposition. Economic Research Journal 2012; 47(3): 127-40. (In Chinese)

Zhang HF, Yao XG, Zhang JS. The impact of school quality on regional labour productivity. Economic Research Journal 2010; 45(7): 57-67. (In Chinese)

Supporting Agencies

| NeuroScience + QuantumPhysics> NeuroQuantology :: Copyright 2001-2019