DP14705 Private Health Investments under Competing Risks: Evidence from Malaria Control in Senegal

Author(s): Pauline Rossi, Paola Villar
Publication Date: May 2020
Keyword(s): Africa, Competing Risks, Health expenses, Human Capital, Malaria
JEL(s): D1, H51, I1, J13, O15
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14705

This study exploits the introduction of high subsidies for anti-malaria products in Senegal in 2009 to investigate whether malaria prevents parents from investing in child health. A simple model of health investments under competing mortality risks predicts that private expenses to fight malaria and other diseases should increase in response to anti-malaria public interventions. We test and validate this prediction using original panel data from a household expenditure survey combined with geographical information on malaria prevalence. We find that health expenditures in malarious regions catch up with non-malarious regions. The same result holds for parental health-seeking behavior against other diseases like diarrhea. These patterns cannot be explained by differential trends between regions. Our results suggest that behavioral responses to anti-malaria campaigns magnify their impact on all-cause mortality for children.