Should we increase average income, or the poor's income to reduce infant and child mortality?


Purpose This article examines whether increasing the income of the poor – measured as the income of the lowest quintile – is more beneficial in reducing infant and child mortality rates compared with increases in average income. Given the global importance in reducing infant mortality, the value of this research is important to academics, policymakers and practitioners alike. Design/methodology/approach Using a sample of 86 countries from 1995–2014 inclusive, our preferred estimation strategy uses an instrumental variable fixed-effects estimator. Findings Our results propose that the elasticity of the income of the lowest quintile never exceeds that of average income. Therefore, if reducing infant and child mortality is a key policy goal, then boosting average income may be preferable to raising incomes at the lower end of the distribution. Originality/value Given these findings, we open a gateway for new literature to add to this unexplored area of research in the income and health relationship.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Economics, Finance & Entrepreneurship
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Additional Information: © 2020 Emerald Publishing. This AAM is deposited under the CC BY-NC 4.0 licence. Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence. To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
Publication ISSN: 1758-7387
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2023 08:14
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 11:23
Full Text Link: 10.1108/JES-03-2020-0107
Related URLs: https://www.eme ... ipTracking=true (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-02-02
Published Online Date: 2020-06-25
Accepted Date: 2020-04-29
Authors: Rewilak, Johan


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