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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 8 / 2011 (561)

The Causal Relationship between Health and Education Expenditures in Malaysia

Chor Foon TANG
University of Malaya, Malaysia
Yew Wah LAI
University Sains, Malaysia

Abstract. A major macroeconomic policy in generating economic growth is to encourage investments on human capital such as health and education. This is because both health and education make significant contribution to increasing productivity of the labour force which ultimately exerts a positive effect on raising output levels. A question that arises is whether investments on health and education have a causal relationship and if so, what is the directional causality? The objective of this study is to examine the causal relationship between health and education expenditures in Malaysia. This study covered annual data from 1970 to 2007. Using Granger causality as well as Toda and Yamamoto MWALD causality approaches, this study suggests that education Granger-causes health expenditure in both the short run and long run. The findings of this study implied that the Malaysian society places preference on education expenditure rather than health. This preference is not unexpected as generally, an educated and knowledgeable society precedes a healthy one. Before a society has attained a relatively higher level of education, it is less aware of the importance of health. Thus, expenditure on education should lead expenditure on health.

Keywords: causality; education; health; Malaysia; MWALD.

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