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Trade Liberalization and Child Mortality: A Synthetic Control Method

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  • Olper, Alessandro
  • Curzi, Daniele
  • Swinnen, Jo

Abstract

This paper investigates the causal effect of trade liberalization on children mortality by exploiting 40 policy reform experiments spanning the 1960-2010 period. We use a new approach – the Synthetic Control Method – for comparative case studies. Using this method we assess at the country level the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries, which experienced a trade liberalization, with the trajectory of a combination of similar untreated countries. Contrary to previous findings, we showed that the effect of trade liberalization on health outcomes display a huge heterogeneity both in the direction and the magnitude of the effect. Among the 40 investigated case studies, 20 displayed a reduction in children mortality after a trade liberalization, and the majority of these are statistically significant. In 18 country casestudies we did not find any relevant effect, while in two cases ‒ South Africa and Mauritania ‒ we found a strong statistically significant worsening in child mortality after trade liberalization. Yet, the underline reasons of these negative effects are driven by very different situations.

Suggested Citation

  • Olper, Alessandro & Curzi, Daniele & Swinnen, Jo, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Child Mortality: A Synthetic Control Method," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212597, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae15:212597
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    Cited by:

    1. Will Martin, 2017. "Agricultural Trade and Food Security," Policy notes & Policy briefs 1744, OCP Policy Center.
    2. repec:oup:erevae:v:44:y:2017:i:4:p:592-633. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Community/Rural/Urban Development; International Relations/Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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