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How many more infants are likely to die in Africa as a result of the global financial crisis ?

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  • Friedman, Jed
  • Schady, Norbert

Abstract

The human consequences of the current global financial crisis for the developing world are presumed to be severe yet few studies have quantified such impact. The authors estimate the additional number of infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa likely due to the crisis and discuss possible mitigation strategies. They pool birth-level data as reported in female adult retrospective birth histories from all Demographic and Health Surveys collected in sub-Saharan Africa nations. This results in a data set of 639,000 births to 264,000 women in 30 countries. The authors use regression models with flexible controls for temporal trends to assess an infant’s likelihood of death as a function of fluctuations in national income. They then apply this estimated likelihood to expected growth shortfalls as a result of the crisis. At current growth projections, their estimates suggest there will be 30,000 - 50,000 excess infant deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these additional deaths are likely to be poorer children (born to women in rural areas and lower education levels) and are overwhelmingly female. If the crisis continues to worsen the number of deaths may grow much larger, especially those to girls. Policies that protect the income of poor households and that maintain critical health services during times of economic contraction should be considered. Interventions targeted at female infants and young girls may be particularly beneficial.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedman, Jed & Schady, Norbert, 2009. "How many more infants are likely to die in Africa as a result of the global financial crisis ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5023, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2005. "Child Health and Economic Crisis in Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 203-223.
    2. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4701, The World Bank.
    3. Sarah Baird & Jed Friedman & Norbert Schady, 2011. "Aggregate Income Shocks and Infant Mortality in the Developing World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 847-856, August.
    4. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Hongbin Li & Junsen Zhang, 2007. "Long-Term Effects Of The 1959-1961 China Famine: Mainland China and Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 13384, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bhalotra, Sonia, 2010. "Fatal fluctuations? Cyclicality in infant mortality in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 7-19, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Franklin Allen and Giorgia Giovannetti, 2010. "Fragile Countries And The 2008-2009 Crisis," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 13, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    2. Buvinic, Mayra & Lunde, Trine & Sinha, Nistha, 2010. "Investing in Gender Equality: Looking Ahead," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 22, pages 1-10, July.
    3. Sara Guerschanik Calvo, 2010. "The Global Financial Crisis of 2008-10: A View from the Social Sectors," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2010-18, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    4. Cruces, Guillermo & Glüzmann, Pablo & Calva, Luis Felipe López, 2012. "Economic Crises, Maternal and Infant Mortality, Low Birth Weight and Enrollment Rates: Evidence from Argentina’s Downturns," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 303-314.
    5. Giles, John & Satriawan, Elan, 2015. "Protecting child nutritional status in the aftermath of a financial crisis: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 97-106.
    6. Shantayanan Devarajan & Sudhir Shetty, 2010. "Africa : Leveraging the Crisis into a Development Takeoff," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10156, The World Bank.
    7. Andy Sumner & Joe Ballantyne & Andrew Curry, 2010. "What Are The Implications of The Global Crisis and its Aftermath for Developing Countries, 2010-2020?," Working Papers 68, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    8. Gries Thomas & Naude Wim, 2011. "Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and a Global Economic Crisis," Entrepreneurship Research Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 1(3), pages 1-43, July.
    9. Cruces, Guillermo & Gluzmann, Pablo & Lopez-Calva, Luis Felipe, 2010. "Permanent Effects of Economic Crises on Household Welfare: Evidence and Projections from Argentina’s Downturns," MPRA Paper 42949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2013. "Gendered impacts of the 2007–2008 food price crisis: Evidence using panel data from rural Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 11-22.
    11. Sabarwal, Shwetlena & Sinha, Nistha & Buvinic, Mayra, 2011. "How Do Women Weather Economic Shocks? What We Know," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 46, pages 1-6, January.
    12. Mariano Rabassa & Emmanuel Skoufias & Hanan Jacoby, 2014. "Weather and Child Health in Rural Nigeria," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(4), pages 464-492.
    13. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Shetty, Sudhir, 2010. "Africa: Leveraging the Crisis into a Development Takeoff," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 30, pages 1-4, September.
    14. Schady, Norbert & Smitz, Marc-Francois, 2010. "Aggregate economic shocks and infant mortality: New evidence for middle-income countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 145-148, August.
    15. Kenneth Harttgen & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2012. "Economic Growth and Child Undernutrition in Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2012-013, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    16. Degol Hailu, 2009. "The Global Economic Crisis Hampers Human Development. How?," One Pager 95, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    17. Kumar, Neha & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2011. "Gendered impacts of the 2007-08 food price crisis: Evidence using panel data from rural Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1093, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Ben Beachy, 2012. "A Financial Crisis Manual Causes, Consequences, and Lessons of the Financial Crisis," GDAE Working Papers 12-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
    19. Wim Naudé, 2009. "Fallacies about the Global Financial Crisis Harms Recovery in the Poorest Countries," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 10(4), pages 3-12, January.
    20. Mayra Buvinic & Trine Lunde & Nistha Sinha, 2010. "Investing in Gender Equality : Looking Ahead," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10168, The World Bank.
    21. Ronald Mendoza & Ronald, 2010. "Inclusive Crises, Exclusive Recoveries, and Policies to Prevent a Double Whammy for the Poor," Working papers 1004, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    22. Ronald Mendoza & Nicholas Rees, 2009. "Infant Mortality During Economic Downturns and Recovery," Working papers 0904, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    23. Sabarwal, Shwetlena & Sinha, Nistha & Buvinic, Mayra, 2010. "How do women weather economic shocks ? a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5496, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    Population Policies; Early Child and Children's Health; Adolescent Health; Gender and Health; Health Systems Development&Reform;

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