IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

"Roll Back Malaria, Roll in Development"? Reassessing the Economic Burden of Malaria

Listed author(s):
  • Randall M. Packard
Registered author(s):

    Recent efforts to mobilize support for malaria control have highlighted the economic burden of malaria and the value of malaria control for generating economic development. These claims have a long history. Beginning in the early twentieth century, they became the primary justification for malaria-control programs in the American South and in other parts of the globe, including British India. Economists conducted none of these studies. Following World War II and the development of new anti-malarial drugs and pesticides, including DDT, malaria control and eradication were increasingly presented as instruments for eliminating economic underdevelopment. By the 1960s, however, economists and demographers began to raise serious substantive and methodological questions about the basis of these claims. Of particular concern was the role of rapid population growth, resulting in part from the decline of malaria mortality, in undermining the short-term economic gains achieved through malaria control. Despite these concerns, malaria continues to be presented as an economic problem in the work of Jeffrey Sachs and others, justifying massive investments in malaria control. The methodological basis of these claims is examined. The paper concludes that while malaria takes a dreadful toll in human lives and causes significant economic losses for individuals, families, and some industries, the evidence linking malaria control to national economic growth remains unconvincing. In addition, the evidence suggests that there are potential costs to justifying malaria-eradication campaigns on macroeconomic grounds. Copyright (c) 2009 The Population Council, Inc..

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 53-87

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:1:p:53-87
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:35:y:2009:i:1:p:53-87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.