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Maria Kuecken - Research Summary

Bocconi University

Disease and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Roll Back Malaria in Africa

Relying on microeconomic data from 27 Sub-Saharan African countries, we study the impact of the Roll Back Malaria campaigns on human capital outcomes. We construct a simple theoretical framework to illustrate a household's trade-offs in the production of human capital. Then, using a difference-in-differences approach based on variation in pre-campaign malaria risk and variation in campaign timing and magnitude, we estimate the effect of anti-malaria campaigns on infant mortality, fertility, labor market participation and education. We find that campaigns reduce infant mortality and fertility, while increasing adult labor supply and educational attainment. These findings highlight the importance of considering spillovers when funding and evaluating large-scale health interventions.

The paper can be downloaded here

The research was also featured in the World Bank Development Impact Blog.