The Economic Burden of Malaria
Malaria and poverty are intimately connected. Controlling for factors such as tropical location, colonial history, and geographical isolation, countries with intensive malaria had income levels in 1995 only 33% of countries without malaria, whether or not the countries were in Africa. The high levels of malaria in poor countries are not mainly a consequence of poverty. Malaria is very geographically specific. The ecological conditions that support the more efficient malaria mosquito vectors primarily determine the distribution and intensity of the disease. Intensive efforts to eliminate malaria in the most severely affected countries in the tropics have been largely ineffective. Countries that have eliminated malaria in the past half century have all been either subtropical or islands. These countries’ economic growth in the five years after eliminating malaria has usually been substantially higher than growth in the neighboring countries. Regressions using cross-country data for the 1965-90 period confirm the relationship between malaria and economic growth. Taking into account initial poverty, economic policy, tropical location, and life expectancy among other factors, countries with intensive malaria grew 1.3% less per person per year, and a 10% reduction in malaria was associated with 0.3% higher growth. Controlling for many other tropical diseases does not change the correlation of malaria with economic growth, and these diseases are not themselves significantly negatively correlated with economic growth. A second independent measure of malaria has a slightly higher correlation with economic growth in the 1980-1996 period. The paper concludes with speculation about the mechanisms that could cause malaria to have such a large impact on the economy, such as foreign investment and economic networks within the country.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.|
Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Barro, Robert J & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992.
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 223-51, April.
- Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence Across States and Regions," Papers 629, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Barro, Robert J. & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Convergence," Scholarly Articles 3451299, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Barro, R.J. & Sala-I-Martin, X., 1991. "Convergence," Papers 645, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993.
"International comparisons of educational attainment,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
- Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1991.
"Convergence across States and Regions,"
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity,
Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(1), pages 107-182.
- J. A. Hausman, 1976.
"Specification Tests in Econometrics,"
185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Cropper, Mauren L. & Haile, Mitiku & Lampieti, Julian A. & Poulos, Christine & Whittington, Dale, 2000. "The value of preventing malaria in Tembien, Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2273, The World Bank.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:52. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.