The Epidemic Effect: Epidemics, Institutions and Human Capital Development

67 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2020 Last revised: 6 Jun 2022

See all articles by Belinda Archibong

Belinda Archibong

Columbia University - Barnard College

Francis Annan

Georgia State University

Uche Eseosa Ekhator-Mobayode

World Bank

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 29, 2020

Abstract

Epidemics can negatively affect economic development except mitigated by global governance institutions. We examine the effects of sudden exposure to epidemic disease on human capital outcomes using evidence from the African meningitis belt. Meningitis shocks reduce child health outcomes, especially in periods when the World Health Organization (WHO) does not declare an epidemic year. These effects are reversed when the WHO declares an epidemic. Children born in meningitis shock areas during a year when an epidemic is announced are 10 percentage points (pp) less stunted and 8.2 pp less underweight than their peers born in non-epidemic years. We find suggestive evidence for the crowd-out of routine vaccination during epidemic years. We analyze data from World Bank projects and find evidence that an influx of health aid in response to WHO declarations may partly explain these reversals.

Keywords: Epidemic, Disease, Vaccination, Aid, WHO, World Bank, Africa

JEL Classification: I12, I15, I18, H84, O12, O19

Suggested Citation

Archibong, Belinda and Annan, Francis and Ekhator-Mobayode, Uche Eseosa, The Epidemic Effect: Epidemics, Institutions and Human Capital Development (June 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3571766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3571766

Belinda Archibong (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Barnard College ( email )

3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Francis Annan

Georgia State University ( email )

35 Broad St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
United States

Uche Eseosa Ekhator-Mobayode

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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