Malaria and Growth

26 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

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

Date Written: March 2000

Abstract

Malaria ranks among the foremost health problems in tropical countries. Allowing for reverse causation, malaria is estimated to reduce GDP per capita growth rates by at least a quarter percentage point a year in many Sub-Saharan countries.

McCarthy, Wolf, and Wu explore the two-sided link between malaria morbidity and GDP per capita growth. Climate significantly affects cross-country differences in malaria morbidity. Tropical location is not destiny, however: greater access to rural health care and greater income equality are associated with lower malaria morbidity. But the interpretation of this link is ambiguous: does greater income equality allow for improved anti-malaria efforts, or does malaria itself increase income inequality?

Allowing for two-sided causation, McCarthy, Wolf, and Wu find a significant negative causal effect running from malaria morbidity to the growth rate of GDP per capita. In about a quarter of their sample countries, malaria is estimated to reduce GDP per capita growth by at least 0.25 percentage point a year.

This paper - a product of Public Economics, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to study the health-environment-economy nexus. This study was funded by the Bank's Research Support Budget under the research project Health, Environment, and the Economy (RPO 683-73). The authors may be contacted at fmccarthy@worldbank.org and holger.wolf@mailexcite.com.

Suggested Citation

McCarthy, F. Desmond and Wolf, Holger C. and Wu, Yi, Malaria and Growth (March 2000). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2303. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=629153

F. Desmond McCarthy

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 (Contact Author)

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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