Mortality from Nestlé's Marketing of Infant Formula in Low and Middle-Income Countries

24 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Jesse Anttila-Hughes

Jesse Anttila-Hughes

University of San Francisco

Lia Fernald

University of California, Berkeley

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Patrick Krause

University of California, Berkeley - Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA)

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Intensive and controversial marketing of infant formula is believed to be responsible for millions of infant deaths in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), yet to date there have been no rigorous analyses that quantify these effects. To estimate the impact of infant formula on infant mortality, we pair country-specific data from the annual corporate reports of Nestlé, the largest producer of infant formula, with a sample of 2.48 million births in 46 LMICs from 1970-2011. Our key finding is that the availability of formula increased infant mortality by 9.4 per 1000 births, 95%CI [3.6, 15.6] among mothers without access to clean water, suggesting that unclean water acted as a vector for the transmission of water-borne pathogens to infants. We estimate that the availability of formula in LIMCs resulted in approximately 66,000 infant deaths in 1981 at the peak of the infant formula controversy.

Suggested Citation

Anttila-Hughes, Jesse and Fernald, Lia and Gertler, Paul J. and Krause, Patrick and Wydick, Bruce, Mortality from Nestlé's Marketing of Infant Formula in Low and Middle-Income Countries (March 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24452. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3154216

Jesse Anttila-Hughes (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Lia Fernald

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Paul J. Gertler

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-1418 (Phone)
510-642-4700 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Patrick Krause

University of California, Berkeley - Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) ( email )

207 Giannini Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-3310
United States

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
25
Abstract Views
236
PlumX Metrics