The authors wish to thank Monica Fisher, Jeff Nugent, Steve Buccola and Bruce Weber for comments. Financial support came from the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and United States National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Malaria and Economic Development
Article first published online: 22 JAN 2013
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Review of Development Economics
Volume 17, Issue 1, pages 1–15, February 2013
How to Cite
Datta, S. C. and Reimer, J. J. (2013), Malaria and Economic Development. Review of Development Economics, 17: 1–15. doi: 10.1111/rode.12011
- Issue published online: 22 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 22 JAN 2013
Malaria tends to have a negative correlation with national income per capita. Many existing studies emphasize how falling rates of malaria can enhance economic development due to the beneficial effect on human capital. This paper emphasizes that causality may also run in the opposite direction, in particular, that higher incomes—arising for reasons having nothing to do with human capital—may allow for increased prevention and treatment of malaria, and therefore contribute to the negative correlation. We analyze the malaria-income relationship for 100 endemic countries over a 17-year period using a simultaneous equations model that accounts for reverse causality and incidental associations. For most countries, income growth has been the most important driver of the negative correlation between malaria and income. Although reducing malaria may be its own reward, it takes much more than reductions in malaria to foster development. This holds widely for different samples of countries.