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Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure

  • Hoyt Bleakley

This study uses the malaria-eradication campaigns in the United States (circa 1920) and in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico (circa 1955) to measure how much childhood exposure to malaria depresses labor productivity. The campaigns began because of advances in health technology, which mitigates concerns about reverse causality. Malarious areas saw large drops in the disease thereafter. Relative to non-malarious areas, cohorts born after eradication had higher income as adults than the preceding generation. These cross-cohort changes coincided with childhood exposure to the campaigns rather than to pre-existing trends. Estimates suggest a substantial, though not predominant, role for malaria in explaining cross-region differences in income. (JEL I12, I18, J13, O15)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 1-45

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:2:y:2010:i:2:p:1-45
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.2.2.1
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  1. Alan I. Barreca, 2010. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 865-892.
  2. repec:oup:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:1:p:73-117 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
  4. David Cutler & Winnie Fung & Michael Kremer & Monica Singhal & Tom Vogl, 2007. "Mosquitoes: The Long-term Effects of Malaria Eradication in India," NBER Working Papers 13539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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