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Health and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Zambia


  • Fink, Günther
  • Masiye, Felix


We evaluate the productivity effects of investment in preventive health technology through a randomized controlled trial in rural Zambia. In the experiment, access to subsidized bed nets was randomly assigned at the community level; 516 farmers were followed over a one-year farming period. We find large positive effects of preventative health investment on productivity: among farmers provided with access to free nets, harvest value increased by US$ 76, corresponding to about 14.7% of the average output value. While only limited information was collected on farming inputs, shifts in the extensive and the intensive margins of labor supply appear to be the most likely mechanism underlying the productivity improvements observed.

Suggested Citation

  • Fink, Günther & Masiye, Felix, 2015. "Health and agricultural productivity: Evidence from Zambia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:42:y:2015:i:c:p:151-164
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2015.04.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Van Campenhout, Bjorn & Bizimungu, Emmanuel & Birungi, Dorothy, 2016. "Risk and sustainable crop intensification: The case of smallholder rice and potato farmers in Uganda:," IFPRI discussion papers 1521, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. S. Cicognani & M. Cioni & M. Savioli, 2016. "The secret to job satisfaction is low expectations: How perceived working conditions differ from actual ones," Working Papers wp1083, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. Van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2016. "Risk and Sustainable Crop Intensification," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246917, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    4. Simona Cicognani & Martina Cioni & Marco Savioli, 2017. "Conditions at work: how actual and expected working conditions drive perception," Working Paper series 17-17, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

    More about this item


    Investment; Health; Productivity; Agriculture; Malaria;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J43 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Agricultural Labor Markets


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