The Epidemic Effect: Global Governance Institutions Mitigate the Effects of Epidemics
59 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2021
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 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 declared an epidemic year are 10 percentage points (pp) less stunted and 8.2 pp less underweight than their peers born in non-epidemic years. We analyze data from World Bank projects and find evidence that the influx of disaster aid in response to WHO declarations may partly explain this reversal.
Funding Information: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Declaration of Interests: None.
Keywords: Epidemic, Disease, Aid, WHO, World Bank, Africa
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