The long-term productivity impacts of all cause premature mortality in Australia

Hannah E. Carter*, Deborah Schofield, Rupendra Shrestha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To estimate the long-term productivity impacts of all-cause premature mortality in Australia by age, sex and cause of death.

Methods: Using a human capital approach, a model was developed to estimate both the working years and present value of lifetime income (PVLI) lost due to premature deaths that occurred in 2003. Outcomes were modelled on individual level data to the year 2030. A discount rate of 3% was applied and results are presented in 2015 Australian dollars.

Results: Premature deaths occurring in 2003 accounted for about 284,000 working years lost and $13.8 billion in PVLI lost when modelled to 2030. Deaths from cancer and cardiovascular disease accounted for more than half the total PVLI impact. Injuries and mental disorders were associated with the highest average PVLI loss per death.

Conclusions: The productivity-related impacts of premature mortality are substantial. This study provides an assessment of relative impact of these costs across specific age, sex and cause of death categories.

Implications: Policies and interventions that prevent premature mortality would improve both health and economic outcomes. An awareness of the productivity costs associated with all-cause mortality may assist decision makers in identifying population and disease subgroups where cost-effective health care investment can achieve the greatest economic gains to society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • all-cause mortality
  • Australia
  • economic burden
  • economic impact
  • human capital
  • microsimulation model
  • premature mortality
  • productivity

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