The Effect of Antimalarial Campaigns on Child Mortality and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa

61 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2019

See all articles by Joshua Wilde

Joshua Wilde

University of South Florida

Benedicte Apouey

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Joseph Coleman

University of South Florida - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics

Gabriel Picone

Department of Economics

Date Written: September 9, 2019

Abstract

We examine the extent to which recent declines in child mortality and fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). Exploiting the rapid increase in ITNs since the mid-2000s, we employ a difference-in-differences estimation strategy to identify the causal effect of ITNs on mortality and fertility. We show that the ITN distribution campaigns reduced all-cause child mortality, but surprisingly increased total fertility rates in the short run in spite of reduced desire for children and increased contraceptive use. We explain this paradox in two ways. First, we show evidence for an unexpected increase in fecundity and sexual activity due to the better health environment after the ITN distribution. Second, we show evidence that the effect on fertility is positive only temporarily – lasting only 1-3 years after the beginning of the ITN distribution programs – and then becomes negative. Taken together, these results suggest the ITN distribution campaigns may have caused fertility to increase unexpectedly and temporarily, or that these increases may just be a tempo effect – changes in fertility timing which do not lead to increased completed fertility.

Keywords: Malaria, Bed nets, Child mortality, Fertility, Sub-Saharan Africa.

JEL Classification: I15, J13, O10, O15.

Suggested Citation

Wilde, Joshua and Apouey, Benedicte and Coleman, Joseph and Picone, Gabriel, The Effect of Antimalarial Campaigns on Child Mortality and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa (September 9, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3452844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3452844

Joshua Wilde (Contact Author)

University of South Florida ( email )

Tampa, FL 33620
United States
813-974-2076 (Phone)
813-974-6510 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.cas.usf.edu/jkwilde/

Benedicte Apouey

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Joseph Coleman

University of South Florida - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

4202 E. Fowler Avenue
BSN 3403
Tampa, FL 33620
United States

Gabriel Picone

Department of Economics ( email )

4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620-5500
United States
813-974-6537 (Phone)
813-974-6510 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.coba.usf.edu/departments/economics/facu

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