Biodiversity Conservation and Child Malaria: Microeconomic Evidence from Flores, Indonesia

22 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2010 Last revised: 25 Jun 2013

See all articles by Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Duke University

Catherine G. Corey

Government of New York City, NY - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Yewah F. Lau

Government of the United States of America - US Forest Service

Randall A. Kramer

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment; Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 18, 2010

Abstract

In remote areas of developing countries, people's health and livelihoods are closely intertwined with the condition of the natural environment. Unfortunately, claims regarding the role of ecosystem degradation on disease outcomes rest on a short list of rigorous empirical studies that consider social, cultural and economic factors that underpin both ecosystem disruptions and behaviors related to exposure, prevention and treatment of diseases such as malaria. As the human ecological tradition suggests, omitting behaviors can lead to erroneous interpretations regarding the nature of the relationship between ecological changes and disease. We specify and test the relationship between child malaria prevalence and forest conditions in a quasi-experimental setting of buffer zone villages around a protected area, which was established to conserve biodiversity on Flores, Indonesia. Multivariate probit regressions are used to examine this conservation and health hypothesis, controlling for several individual, family and community variables that could confound this hypothesized link. We find that the extent of primary (protected) forest is negatively associated with child malaria, while the extent of secondary (disturbed) forest cover is positively correlated with child malaria, all else equal. This finding emphasizes the natural insurance value of conservation because children are both especially vulnerable to changes in environmental risks and key players in the future growth and prosperity of a society.

Keywords: Indonesian national parks, tropical watershed conservation, ecosystem change, environmental health, micro-econometrics, human ecology

Suggested Citation

Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. and Corey, Catherine G. and Lau, Yewah F. and Kramer, Randall A., Biodiversity Conservation and Child Malaria: Microeconomic Evidence from Flores, Indonesia (November 18, 2010). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke Working Paper No. 85. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1711418

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Catherine G. Corey

Government of New York City, NY - Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ( email )

Yewah F. Lau

Government of the United States of America - US Forest Service ( email )

1400 Independence Ave., SW
Madison, WI 87109

Randall A. Kramer (Contact Author)

Duke University - Nicholas School for the Environment ( email )

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
United States
(919) 613-8072 (Phone)
(919) 684-8741 (Fax)

Duke University - Department of Economics

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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