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Theoretical and empirical issues in benefit identification, measurement and valuation related to parasitic disease control in poor countries

By David W. Dunlop

Abstract

Considerable resources have been allocated over the years to parasitic disease eradication or control, e.g. malaria and schistosomiasis. Decision-makers in recent years have increasingly appealed to economists seeking an economic justification in order to continue or renew support for such programmatic efforts. Often economists when facing such an analytical task have employed benefit-cost or cost-effectiveness analytical techniques. This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical rationale employed in the conduct of such studies, focusing particularly on the benefits or impact indicators used. The review identifies many problems encountered in identifying benefits, and then measuring and valuing them.

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