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Trade liberalization and child mortality: a synthetic control method

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  • Alessandro Olper
  • Daniele Curzi
  • Jo Swinnen

Abstract

We study the causal effect of trade liberalization on child mortality by exploiting 41 policy reform experiments in the 1960-2010 period. The Synthetic Control Method for comparative case studies allows to compare at the country level the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries (those which experienced trade liberalization) with the trajectory of a combination of similar but untreated countries. In contrast with previous findings, we find that the effect of trade liberalization on health outcomes displays a huge heterogeneity, both in the direction and the magnitude of the estimated effect. Among the 41 investigated cases, 19 displayed a significant reduction in child mortality after trade liberalization. In 19 cases there was no significant effect, while in three cases we found a significant worsening in child mortality after trade liberalization. Trade reforms in democracies, in middle income countries and which reduced taxation in agriculture reduce child mortality more.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Olper & Daniele Curzi & Jo Swinnen, 2017. " Trade liberalization and child mortality: a synthetic control method," Working Papers Department of Economics 567787, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:567787
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Will, 2017. "Agricultural Trade and Food Security," ADBI Working Papers 664, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    2. repec:oup:erevae:v:44:y:2017:i:4:p:592-633. is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade liberalization; Child Mortality; Synthetic Control Method;

    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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