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Trade liberalization and child mortality: A Synthetic Control Method

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd We study the effect of trade liberalization on child mortality using data from emerging and developing countries over the 1960–2010 period. To capture possible heterogeneity of effects, we use the Synthetic Control Method (SCM) for comparative case studies. The SCM allows to compare the trajectory of post-reform health outcomes of treated countries (those which experienced trade liberalization) with the trajectory of a combination of similar but untreated countries. On average, trade liberalization significantly reduced child mortality. The average reduction is around 9% ten years after the liberalization. But there is significant heterogeneity in the impact. For the cases for which the SCM could provide a reliable counterfactual, trade liberalization significantly reduced child mortality in approximately half the cases. In most other cases there was no significant effect. In the majority of the significant cases, the reduction in child mortality was more than 20%. On average, trade liberalization reduced child mortality more (a) in democracies compared to autocracies, (b) when incomes were higher and (c) when it reduced taxation of farmers.
Tijdschrift: World Development : The Multi-Disciplinary International Journal Devoted to the Study and Promotion of World Development
ISSN: 0305-750X
Volume: 110
Pagina's: 394 - 410
Aantal pagina's: 17
Jaar van publicatie:2018