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Working Paper 91 - Health Expenditures and Health Outcomes in Africa

John Anyanwu and Andrew E. O. Erhijakpor

Working Paper Series from African Development Bank

Abstract: This paper provides econometric evidence linking African countries’ per capita total as well as government health expenditures and per capita income to two health outcomes: infant mortality and under-five mortality. This relationship is examined, using data from 47 African countries between 1999 and 2004. Health expenditures have a statistically significant effect on infant mortality and under-five mortality. The magnitude of our elasticity estimates are in consonance to those reported in the literature. For African countries, our results imply that total health expenditures (as well as the public component) are certainly important contributor to health outcomes. In addition, we find that both infant and under-five mortality are positively and significantly associated with Sub-Saharan Africa. The reverse is true for North Africa. While ethnolinguistic fractionalization and HIV prevalence positively and significantly affect the health outcomes, higher numbers physicians and female literacy significantly reduce these health outcomes. These results have important implications for attaining the targets envisioned by the Millennium Development Goals. The data implications are also discussed.

Date: 2007-12-17
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