The Growth Costs of Malaria

31 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2000 Last revised: 16 Oct 2010

See all articles by F. Desmond McCarthy

F. Desmond McCarthy

World Bank

Holger C. Wolf

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS)

Yi Wu

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2000

Abstract

Malaria ranks among the foremost health issues facing tropical countries. In this paper, we explore the determinants of cross-country differences in malaria morbidity, and examine the linkage between malaria and economic growth. Using a classification rule analysis, we confirm the dominant role of climate in accounting for cross-country differences in malaria morbidity. The data, however, do not suggest that tropical location is destiny: controlling for climate, we find that access to rural healthcare and income equality influence malaria morbidity. In a cross-section growth framework, we find a significant negative association between higher malaria morbidity and the growth rate of GDP per capita which is robust to a number of modifications, including controlling for reverse causation. The estimated absolute growth impact of malaria differs sharply across countries; it exceeds a quarter percent per annum in a quarter of the sample countries. Most of these are located in Sub-Saharan Africa (with an estimated average annual growth reduction of 0.55 percent).

Suggested Citation

McCarthy, F. Desmond and Wolf, Holger C. and Wu, Yi, The Growth Costs of Malaria (February 2000). NBER Working Paper No. w7541. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227632

F. Desmond McCarthy (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Holger C. Wolf

Georgetown University - Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-8079 (Phone)
202-687-8359 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://georgetown.edu/faculty/wolfhc/

Yi Wu

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

ICC 580
Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-5601 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

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