What is human capital? According to a World Bank publication promoted at its recent Spring Meeting, human capital is “measured as the discounted value of earnings over a person’s lifetime” (Lange et al. 2018: 4). In its explicitly economistic nature, “human capital” is not the same as “human development”…
“Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg… Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own…”
How do we measure the impact of health interventions and how does the measurement of health or of health’s absence impact global health discourse and funding? How is the measuring of health co-constructive of ideas about what health is and what kinds of negotiations are underway in health development in Senegal as the country works towards universal health coverage?
Health policy-related decisions are often made based on global burden of disease estimates, as well as economic framings of disease control and prevention. But how do other social sciences fit into this agenda – and how do they challenge it?
Between September 25-27, IHME hosted a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the four-part publication of the global burden of disease study in The Lancet by drawing together policy makers from various global health organizations and GBD collaborators from around the world.
In this blog post, I briefly introduce the rise of health economics in the 20th century and a few methods for economically measuring health investment as a means to provide some context to current health care financing debates.