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Is There Evidence for Dual Causation Between Malaria and Socioeconomic Status? Findings From Rural Tanzania

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  • 1 Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; School of Economics, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, Ifakara, Morogoro, Tanzania; United States Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre, Ifakara, Morogoro, Tanzania
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Malaria’s relationship with socioeconomic status at the macroeconomic level has been established. This is the first study to explore this relationship at the microeconomic (household) level and estimate the direction of association. Malaria prevalence was measured by parasitemia, and household socioeconomic status was measured using an asset based index. Results from an instrumental variable probit model suggest that socioeconomic status is negatively associated with malaria parasitemia. Other variables that are significantly associated with parasitemia include age of the individual, use of a mosquito net on the night before interview, the number of people living in the household, whether the household was residing at their farm home at the time of interview, household wall construction, and the region of residence. Matching estimators indicate that malaria parasitemia is associated with reduced household socioeconomic status.

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