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Public policies and health outcomes: evidence from Sub-Saharan African countries since 1960

Eneas Gakusi, African Development Bank Group

Relying on the long term time series on income, various socio-economic indicators and under-five mortality data from African countries since 1960, the paper aims at presenting and discussing how public policies have affected health outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. The main contribution of this paper is to improve, in a long-term perspective, the understanding of the complex interrelationship between policymaking, economic development, and health in sub-Saharan African countries. The longitudinal approach allows to evaluate how living standards conditions have evolved over time and how such an evolution has been shaped by public policies. Results show in particular that in most cases structural adjustment policies have had a beneficial effect on under-five mortality, and that long term trends are only moderately influenced by economic crises, with a few exceptions, such as Zambia and Madagascar.

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Presented in Session 150: Population and poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa