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Malaria: Disease Impacts and Long-Run Income Differences

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that malaria, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes, causes over 300 million episodes of “acute illness" and more than one million deaths annually. Most of the deaths occur in poor countries of the tropics, and especially sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the countries with high rates of malaria prevalence are also poor, and some researchers have suggested a direct link from malaria to poverty. This paper explores the potential impact of malaria on national income levels, using a dynamic general equilibrium framework with epidemiological features. We find that if there is no feasible prevention or control, malaria can have a significant impact on income levels. However, if people have any effective way of avoiding infection, the disease impacts on income levels are likely to be small. This is true even where preventive measures are costly.

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File URL: http://web.williams.edu/Economics/wp/gollinMalaria_October_17_2008.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2008-17.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2008-17
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Web page: http://econ.williams.edu
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  1. repec:reg:rpubli:282 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Viscusi, W Kip & Aldy, Joseph E, 2003. " The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 5-76, August.
  3. Philipson, Tomas, 2000. "Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 33, pages 1761-1799 Elsevier.
  4. Gersovitz, Mark & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2001. "The economic control of infectious diseases," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2607, The World Bank.
  5. 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.
  6. Chris Papageorgiou & Shankha Chakraborty & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, . "Diseases and Development," Departmental Working Papers 2005-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  7. David Cutler & Winnie Fung & Michael Kremer & Monica Singhal & Tom Vogl, 2007. "Mosquitoes: The Long-term Effects of Malaria Eradication in India," NBER Working Papers 13539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Huggett, Mark, 1996. "Wealth distribution in life-cycle economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 469-494, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Hoyt Bleakley, 2006. "Malaria In The Americas: A Retrospective Analysis Of Childhood Exposure," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003185, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  11. Hammer, Jeffrey S, 1993. "The Economics of Malaria Control," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, January.
  12. 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.
  13. David N. Weil, 2005. "Accounting for the Effect of Health on Economic Growth," Working Papers 2005-07, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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