Malaria, Productivity and Access to Treatment: Experimental Evidence from Nigeria [2013 - 2016]

Principal Investigator

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Non-AFRE Co-Principle Investigators: Dr. Oladele Akogun, Yola, Nigeria; Dr. Jed Friedman, World Bank; Dr. Pieter Serneels, University of East Anglia

This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council – ESRC.  The consequences of ill health for productivity and economic development are presumed to be severe yet the rigorous evidence base for such a linkage is small.  In previous work, statistically significant and large intent to treat effects were estimated on earnings, labor supply and productivity of a curative malaria treatment at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria.  A mobile health clinic was established on the plantation and used an exogenously determined ordering of workers to test and treat workers.

Despite large treatment effects, we found that workers have low rates of seeking curative and preventative treatments.  To better understand this puzzle, the present follow on study project offers access to malaria treatment and insurance at exogenously varied prices to estimate its effect on take-up and frequency of health care.  The study will also measure the effect of treatment on both worker productivity and physical activity.  This will allow estimation of the effects of malaria on physical activity in general, and allow us to extrapolate our findings in this context to other physical occupations in endemic areas.