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The Growth Costs of Malaria

  • Desmond McCarthy
  • Holger Wolf
  • Yi Wu
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    Malaria ranks among the foremost health issues facing tropical countries. In this paper, we explore the determinants of cross-country differences in malaria morbidity, and examine the linkage between malaria and economic growth. Using a classification rule analysis, we confirm the dominant role of climate in accounting for cross-country differences in malaria morbidity. The data, however, do not suggest that tropical location is destiny: controlling for climate, we find that access to rural healthcare and income equality influence malaria morbidity. In a cross-section growth framework, we find a significant negative association between higher malaria morbidity and the growth rate of GDP per capita which is robust to a number of modifications, including controlling for reverse causation. The estimated absolute growth impact of malaria differs sharply across countries; it exceeds a quarter percent per annum in a quarter of the sample countries. Most of these are located in Sub-Saharan Africa (with an estimated average annual growth reduction of 0.55 percent).

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7541.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7541.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2000
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7541
    Note: EFG
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    2. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1856, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    4. Gomes, Melba, 1993. "Economic and demographic research on malaria: A review of the evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1093-1108, November.
    5. T. Paul Schultz, 1999. "Health and Schooling Investments in Africa," Working Papers 801, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    6. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1997. "Explaining African economic performance," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-02.2, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1993. "The Economics of Malaria Control," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, January.
    8. Schultz, T.P., 2000. "Health and Schooling Investments in Africa," Papers 549, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    9. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    10. John Luke Gallup & Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew D. Mellinger, 1998. "Geography and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 6849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Singhanetra-Renard, Anchalee, 1993. "Malaria and mobility in Thailand," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1147-1154, November.
    12. David E. Bloom & Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1998. "Geography, Demography, and Economic Growth in Africa," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 207-296.
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