Should we increase average income, or the poor's income to reduce infant and child mortality?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose
This article examines whether increasing the income of the poor – measured as the income of the lowest quintile – is more beneficial in reducing infant and child mortality rates compared with increases in average income. Given the global importance in reducing infant mortality, the value of this research is important to academics, policymakers and practitioners alike.

Design/methodology/approach
Using a sample of 86 countries from 1995–2014 inclusive, our preferred estimation strategy uses an instrumental variable fixed-effects estimator.

Findings
Our results propose that the elasticity of the income of the lowest quintile never exceeds that of average income. Therefore, if reducing infant and child mortality is a key policy goal, then boosting average income may be preferable to raising incomes at the lower end of the distribution.

Originality/value
Given these findings, we open a gateway for new literature to add to this unexplored area of research in the income and health relationship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Economic Studies
Early online date25 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

© 2020 Emerald Publishing. This AAM is deposited under the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting permissions@emeraldinsight.com.

Keywords

  • Child mortality
  • Income of the poor
  • Infant mortality
  • M-Pesa
  • Mobile money

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