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Mosquitoes: The Long-TermEffects of Malaria Eradication in India

  • Cutler, David

    (Harvard U)

  • Fung, Winnie
  • Kremer, Michael
  • Singhal, Monica

We examine the effects of malaria on educational attainment by exploiting geographic variation in malaria prevalence in India prior to a nationwide eradication program in the 1950s. Malaria eradication resulted in gains in literacy and primary school completion rates of approximately 12 percentage points. These estimates imply that the eradication of malaria can explain about half of the gains in these measures of educational attainment between the pre- and post-eradication periods in areas where malaria was prevalent. The effects are not present in urban areas, where malaria was not considered to be a problem in the pre-eradication period. The results cannot be explained by convergence across areas. We find gains for both men and women as well as for members of scheduled castes and tribes, a traditionally disadvantaged group.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp07-051.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-051
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  1. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson, 2006. "Disease and Development: The Effect of Life Expectancy on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 12269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alan Barreca, 2009. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Working Papers 0905, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2011. "The Impact of Malaria Eradication on Fertility," Working Papers 11-20, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  4. P. Duraisamy, 2000. "Changes in Returns to Education in India, 1983-94: By Gender, Age-Cohort and Location," Working Papers 815, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  5. Duraisamy, P., 2002. "Changes in returns to education in India, 1983-94: by gender, age-cohort and location," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 609-622, December.
  6. Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "Malaria In The Americas: A Retrospective Analysis Of Childhood Exposure," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003185, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
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