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Am Econ J Appl Econ. 2010 Apr;2(2):46-71.

Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka.

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Wellesley College, Economics Department, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481.


Mid-twentieth century malaria eradication campaigns largely eliminated malaria from Paraguay and Sri Lanka. Using these interventions as quasi-experiments, I estimate malaria's effect on lifetime female educational attainment through the combination of pre-existing geographic variation in malarial intensity and cohort exposure based on the timing of the national anti-malaria campaigns. The estimates from Sri Lanka and Paraguay are similar and indicate that malaria eradication increased years of educational attainment and literacy. The similarity of the estimates across the countries reinforces our confidence in the validity of the identification strategy.

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