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Health Risks and Migration in Sub-Saharan Countries

  • 2008-2012
  • Project
Mesnard, Alice, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Study: “Health Risks and Migration in Sub-Saharan Countries”
PI(s): Mesnard, Alice
Affiliation(s): Institute for Fiscal Studies
Institutional Partner(s): AFD/IRD
Project Dates:
Start: 2008
End: 2012
Data Source(s): Panel Data Collection
Methods: Descriptive Statistics and Modeling
Geographic Location(s): Nigeria, Tanzania

Health risks are among one of the most severe risks confronting poor households in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where affordable and quality health care is scarce and access to health insurance is limited. Individuals may travel long distances or even move to seek treatment, escape from infectious diseases, or help their families overcome financial hardship resulting from high medical expenditures and loss of income due to illness. Such relationships between health risks and migration are rarely studied despite their important consequences for the planning, targeting, and effectiveness of health policies. The research investigated the role of migration in dealing with the risks of chronic and acute illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, and communicable diseases that may not only affect the health of people but also their economic situation. The research also explored how pressure for migration in response to differing equilibrium levels of disease prevalence causes countervailing differences in city characteristics, notably in land rents. The results showed that migration can have positive health benefits, in that reductions in barriers to migration reduced steady-state disease incidence in low-prevalence areas while it had no impact on prevalence in high-prevalence areas.

Research Outputs:
Mesnard, Alice & Seabright, Paul. (2008). Migration and the Equilibrium Prevalence of Infectious Diseases (Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) Discussion Paper No. 6651).

Mesnard, Alice & Seabright, Paul. (2016). Migration and the Equilibrium Prevalence of Infectious Diseases. Journal of Demographic Economics, 82(1): 1-26. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/dem.2015.12

Fitzsimons, Emma, Malde, Bansi, Mesnard, Alice, Vera-Hernandez, Marcos. (2014). Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi.

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