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Malaria: Disease Impacts and Long-Run Income Differences

  • Douglas Gollin

    (Williams College)

  • Christian Zimmermann

    (University of Connecticut)

Malaria is a parasitic disease that causes over 300 million "acute illness" episodes and one million deaths annually. Most occur in the tropics, especially sub-Saharan Africa. Countries with high rates of malaria prevalence are gen- erally poor, and some researchers have suggested a direct link from malaria to poverty. We explore the interactions between malaria and national income, using a dynamic general equilibrium framework with epidemiological features. We find that without prevention or control, malaria can have a large impact on income. However, if people have any effective ways of avoiding infection, the disease has little effect on income levels.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2007-30.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision: Apr 2010
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2007-30
Note: Portions of this research were undertaken while Gollin was on leave at the Economic Growth Center, Yale University, and at the Centre for Study of African Economies, Oxford University. Gollin gratefully acknowledges support and facilities at both institutions. Hoyt Bleakley has kindly shared information and preliminary results. We have also benefited from the comments of Ben Bridgman, Steve Meardon, Lara Shore-Sheppard, Gustavo Ventura, David Weil, and seminar and conference participants at the Arizona State University Conference on Economic Development; the Society for Economic Dynamics 2005 meetings in Budapest; the University of Essex; Rutgers University; the University of Delaware; University of Connecticut; University of Houston; Wesleyan University; LAMES 2006 in Mexico City; the Northeast Universities Development Conference 2005 at Brown University; and the Harvard Center for International Development.s May 2007 conference on Health Improvements for Economic Growth.
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Web page: http://www.econ.uconn.edu/

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  1. Chima, Reginald Ikechukwu & Goodman, Catherine A. & Mills, Anne, 2003. "The economic impact of malaria in Africa: a critical review of the evidence," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 17-36, January.
  2. Shankha Chakraborty & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Pérez Sebastián, 2006. "Diseases and Development," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_044, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  3. Hoyt Bleakley, 2003. "Disease and Development: Evidence from the American South," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 376-386, 04/05.
  4. Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, 01.
  5. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 11455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Cutler, David & Fung, Winnie & Kremer, Michael & Singhal, Monica, 2007. "Mosquitoes: The Long-TermEffects of Malaria Eradication in India," Working Paper Series rwp07-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  10. Gersovitz, Mark & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2005. "Tax/subsidy policies toward vector-borne infectious diseases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 647-674, April.
  11. Tomas Philipson, 1999. "Economic Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases," NBER Working Papers 7037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "Malaria In The Americas: A Retrospective Analysis Of Childhood Exposure," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003185, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  13. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. David Domeij & Jonathan Heathcote, 2004. "On The Distributional Effects Of Reducing Capital Taxes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 523-554, 05.
  15. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1993. "The Economics of Malaria Control," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, January.
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