Wealthiest Is Not Always Healthiest: What Explains Differences in Child Mortality in West Africa?
Ghana has the lowest under-five mortality rate in West Africa. Understanding why Ghana's child mortality rate is lower than in neighbouring countries may offer useful insights for other developing countries that are trying to improve child health. This paper explores whether Ghana's lower mortality rate is mostly a result of greater household wealth, better implementation of national health policies, or more favourable geography. The paper uses micro level data for children under five to examine relative child mortality risk between Ghana and each of its three immediate neighbours—Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Togo. A Cox proportional hazards model is used to test which of the three ‘contenders’—health policy, wealth or geography—best explains Ghana's mortality advantage. The results of the analysis indicate that wealth variables are not able to explain any of the child mortality variation between Ghana and its neighbours. Geography and health policy variables each explain about 40% of the mortality gap between Ghana and Burkina Faso. Health policy differences alone are able to explain about 70% of the child mortality gap between Ghana and the Ivory Coast. These results suggest that even poor countries that have been ‘cursed’ by bad geography can potentially improve development outcomes and save children's lives. Copyright 2012 , Oxford University Press.
Volume (Year): 21 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://www.jae.oupjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ellen van de Poel & Owen O'Donnell & Eddy van Doorslaer, 2007. "Are Urban Children really healthier?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-035/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993.
"Wealthier is healthier,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1150, The World Bank.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2003. "Institutions Don't Rule: Direct Effects of Geography on Per Capita Income," NBER Working Papers 9490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- John W. McArthur & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Institutions and Geography: Comment on Acemoglu, Johnson and Robinson (2000)," NBER Working Papers 8114, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002.
"Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steven A. Block, 2007. "Maternal nutrition knowledge versus schooling as determinants of child micronutrient status," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(2), pages 330-353, April.
- Angus Deaton, 2006.
"Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies,"
NBER Working Papers
12735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus S. Deaton, 2006. "Global Patterns of Income and Health: Facts, Interpretations, and Policies," Working Papers id:777, eSocialSciences.
- William A Masters and Margaret S McMillan, 2000.
"Climate and Scale in Economic Growth,"
Economics Series Working Papers
WPS/2000-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Masters, William A. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2001. "Climate And Scale In Economic Growth," Miscellaneous Papers 11845, Agecon Search.
- Margaret S. McMillan & William A. Masters, 2000. "Climate and scale in economic growth," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- William A. Masters & Margaret S. McMillan, 2000. "Climate and Scale In Economic Growth," CID Working Papers 48, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, 2001. "Tropical Underdevelopment," NBER Working Papers 8119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2003.
"The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?,"
OECD Development Centre Working Papers
217, OECD Publishing.
- Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2004. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," NBER Working Papers 10513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Penders, Christopher L. & Staatz, John M., 2001.
"The Impact Of Household-Level Determinants Of Child Health And Nutrition: Cross-Country Evidence From West Africa,"
2001 Annual meeting, August 5-8, Chicago, IL
20586, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
- Penders, Christopher L. & Staatz, John M., 2001. "The Impact Of Household Level Determinants Of Child Health And Nutrition: Cross-Country Evidence From West Africa," Staff Papers 11579, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
- Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
- Kai Carstensen & Erich Gundlach, 2006.
"The Primacy of Institutions Reconsidered: Direct Income Effects of Malaria Prevalence,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 309-339.
- Carstensen, Kai & Gundlach, Erich, 2006. "The primacy of institutions reconsidered: Direct income effects of malaria prevalence," Munich Reprints in Economics 19929, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Brunnschweiler, Christa N. & Bulte, Erwin H., 2008.
"The resource curse revisited and revised: A tale of paradoxes and red herrings,"
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management,
Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 248-264, May.
- Christa N. Brunnschweiler & Erwin H. Bulte, 2006. "The Resource Curse Revisited and Revised: A Tale of Paradoxes and Red Herrings," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 06/61, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
- Adam Wagstaff & Naoko Watanabe, 2003. "What difference does the choice of SES make in health inequality measurement?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 885-890.
- Wilmoth, Teresa A. & Elder, John P., 1995. "An assessment of research on breastfeeding promotion strategies in developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 579-594, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:21:y:2012:i:2:p:192-227. 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: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.