Worker Health: A Worthwhile Investment

In 113 developing countries, agriculture is 3/4 less productive than other sectors. One reason: neglecting the health of workers, especially in humid areas favored by disease vectors, concludes new research led by Andrew Dillon at Michigan State University.

In Nigeria, cane workers’ productivity jumped when they were tested for malaria, and the ill treated with Artemisinin Combined Therapy (ACT). For malaria-negative workers, simply confirming their status increased productivity.

Over 3 weeks, workers earned $9 more—topping (and justifying) the $5–7 treatment price tag—not to mention the intrinsic value of healthier workers.

Growth Research Programme

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