On the Economic Impact of Malaria Control, Some Discordant Evidence
17 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2013 Last revised: 7 Nov 2016
Date Written: January 13, 2014
This cluster randomized trial evaluates the economic impact of a private sector malaria control program. In collaboration with 81,597 smallholder contract farmers in 1,507 clusters, I investigate whether the distribution of free insecticide-treated mosquito nets at the outset of malaria season increased cotton output sufficiently to be commercially viable for the implementing agribusiness. But despite large health effects in farming households, I do not detect any impact on deliveries to the agribusiness. I conclude that the independent and sustained distribution of free mosquito nets by Zambia’s cotton industry is unlikely to materialize without subsidies. While the results appear to run contrary to literature on the economic impact of malaria, they can be partially reconciled with literature on the labor decisions of smallholder farmers.
Keywords: Malaria, insecticide-treated nets, smallholder, outgrowers, contract farming, agricultural productivity, public-private partnerships
JEL Classification: C930, I380, Q120
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation