The macroeconomic burden of noncommunicable diseases in the United States: Estimates and projections

Simiao Chen, Michael Kuhn, Klaus Prettner, David E. Bloom

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung

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We develop and calibrate a dynamic production function model to assess how noncommunicable
diseases (NCDs) will affect U.S. productive capacity in 2015-2050. In this framework,
aggregate output is produced according to a human capital-augmented production
function that accounts for the effects of projected disease prevalence. NCDs influence the
economy through the following pathways: 1) when working-age individuals die of a disease,
aggregate output undergoes a direct loss because physical capital can only partially substitute
for the loss of human capital in the production process. 2) If working-age individuals suffer
from a disease but do not die from it, then, depending on the condition's severity, they
tend to be less productive, might work less, or might retire earlier. 3) Current NCD interventions
such as medical treatments and prevention require substantial resources. Part of
these resources could otherwise be used for productive investments in infrastructure, education,
or research and development. This implies a loss of savings across the population
and hampers economy-wide physical capital accumulation. Our results indicate a total loss
of USD94.9 trillion (in constant 2010 USD) due to all NCDs. Mental health conditions and
cardiovascular diseases impose the highest burdens, followed by cancer, diabetes, and
chronic respiratory diseases. In per capita terms, the economic burden of all NCDs in 2015-
2050 is USD265,000. The total NCD burden roughly corresponds to an annual tax rate of
10.8% on aggregate income.
Seiten (von - bis)e0206702
FachzeitschriftPLoS ONE
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2018