The Economics of Malaria and Malaria Eradication in the United States

Alan Barreca, Tulane University
Shawn Kantor, University of California, Merced
Price Fishback, University of Arizona

This paper examines the major ecological and demographic determinants of malaria using the United States as a case study. In addition, we estimate the effects of New Deal policies on malaria’s decline during the 1930s. Given the accessibility and completeness of historical data on the United States, our research contributes to the malaria literature by providing the most comprehensive estimates of the predictors of malaria to date. Our research design estimates the relationship between malaria death rates and various ecological factors, demographic factors, and New Deal policies, at the county level in 1920, 1930, and 1940. Our results indicate that the Agricultural Adjustment Act and migration away from malarial counties are a major reason for malaria’s demise in the United States.

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Presented in Session 139: Historical Demography