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The Health Costs of Ethnic Distance: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • Joseph Flavian Gomes

Abstract

We show that ethnic distances lead to worse child health outcomes by impeding access to health-related information. We combine individual level micro data from DHS surveys for fourteen sub-Saharan African countries, with a high-resolution dataset on the spatial distribution of ethnic groups at the 1 × 1 sq. km level constructed using an Iterative Proportional Fitting algorithm. We show that children whose mothers are linguistically more distant to their neighbours face higher mortality rates and are shorter in size. Linguistically distant mothers are also less likely to know about the oral rehydration product for treating children with diarrhoea.

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  • Joseph Flavian Gomes, 2017. "The Health Costs of Ethnic Distance: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," NCID Working Papers 04/2017, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
  • Handle: RePEc:nva:unnvaa:wp04-2017
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    Cited by:

    1. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2017. "Linguistic Distance and Market Integration in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 331, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    2. Andrew Dickens, 2017. "Ethnolinguistic Favoritism in African Politics," Working Papers 1702, Brock University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ethnic distance; linguistic distance; linguistic diversity; ethnic inequality; child mortality; African development; health inequalities;

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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