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  3. Eduardo Montero, University of Chicago
Microeconomía Aplicada

Eduardo Montero, University of Chicago

Coautor: Jon Denton-Schneider


Disease — a neglected tropical disease (NTD) with a weeks-long acute stage and a chronic cardiovascular phase at least 10 years later — almost exclusively impacts poor, rural, and non-white populations in Latin America. How does eliminating it affect health and wealth inequalities? We answer this question by studying Brazil’s initial campaign to eliminate Chagas disease (1984-89). Exploiting the pre-treatment presence of its main vector, we find that having a childhood free of exposure to this NTD raised non-white Brazilians’ incomes by more than twice as much as their white peers’ (7.7 vs 3.4 percent), and it decreased the interquartile range of incomes by 3.3 percent. We also estimate that, coinciding with the expected reduction in chronic Chagas disease symptoms, public spending on circulatory disease hospital care declined by 13.5 percent (0.014 percent of 2019 GDP), yielding by itself an internal rate of return of 24.9 percent. These results suggest that NTD control can reduce (racial) disparities in one of the world’s most unequal regions while improving the public and fiscal health of developing countries.

6 de Septiembre de 2023

13:30 a 14:30

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Microeconomía Aplicada


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