Punching above their weight: A network to understand broader determinants of increasing life expectancy

Fran Baum, Jennie Popay, Toni Delany-Crowe, Toby Freeman, Connie Musolino, Carlos Alvarez-Dardet, Vinya Ariyaratne, Kedar Baral, Paulin Basinga, Mary Bassett, David M. Bishai, Mickey Chopra, Sharon Friel, Elsa Giugliani, Hideki Hashimoto, James Macinko, Martin McKee, Huong Thanh Nguyen, Nikki Schaay, Orielle SolarSundararaman Thiagarajan, David Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Life expectancy initially improves rapidly with economic development but then tails off. Yet, at any level of economic development, some countries do better, and some worse, than expected - they either punch above or below their weight. Why this is the case has been previously researched but no full explanation of the complexity of this phenomenon is available. New research network: In order to advance understanding, the newly formed Punching Above Their Weight Research Network has developed a model to frame future research. It provides for consideration of the following influences within a country: political and institutional context and history; economic and social policies; scope for democratic participation; extent of health promoting policies affecting socio-economic inequities; gender roles and power dynamics; the extent of civil society activity and disease burdens. Conclusion: Further research using this framework has considerable potential to advance effective policies to advance health and equity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117
JournalInternational journal for equity in health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 13 2018


  • Civil society
  • Gender equity
  • Health equity
  • Health improvement
  • Life expectancy
  • Politics of health
  • Social determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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