Infant Mortality During Economic Downturns and Recovery

46 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2010

See all articles by Ronald U. Mendoza

Ronald U. Mendoza

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government

Nicholas Rees

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 1, 2009

Abstract

This paper reviews the empirical literature on the impact of economic downturns on infant mortality. Drawing on this, it examines the possible impact of the presently unfolding global economic slowdown. While there is scope for further improving our understanding of the links between economic trends and infant mortality, the available empirical evidence does suggest that children face grave risks if the social impact of the global slowdown is unmitigated. There is also a risk that the global slowdown could undermine recent progress in reducing infant mortality. The analysis and evidence underscore several key areas for policy responses: a) providing humanitarian relief, including health and nutrition interventions to the most hard-hit and vulnerable groups; b) expanding social protection to the poorest and most vulnerable; and c) resuscitating growth in a way that is pro-poor and ensures that the recovery of household incomes - notably among the poor and low income households - is robust and sustained. The main message of this paper for policymakers is that, based on empirical evidence on past crises, the possible impact of the present crisis on infant mortality is nothing that cannot be mitigated by policies that protect children and women and ensure sufficient social investments in the first place.

Keywords: global economic slowdown, economic crisis, countercyclical policy, social protection, infant mortality rate (IMR), under 5 mortality rate (U5MR)

JEL Classification: F15, G01, O10

Suggested Citation

Mendoza, Ronald U. and Rees, Nicholas, Infant Mortality During Economic Downturns and Recovery (October 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586527 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1586527

Ronald U. Mendoza (Contact Author)

Ateneo De Manila University - Ateneo School of Government ( email )

Katipunan Road
Loyola Heights
Quezon City, 1108
Philippines

Nicholas Rees

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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